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liberty," "putting humans first," and the man without a hobby. he joins us at the "los angeles times" festival of books. .. >> host: would you -- i described you as a political philosopher, but tell us about your core philosophy. >> guest: well, my area of specialization is political philosophy, but i also do ethics
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and general philosophy like many classical philosophers. i think that you need a comprehensive approach to make out the case for various branches of philosophy. but, essentially, over the years i have come to believe that the classical liberal social-political stance, one that one associates with john locke, john stuart mill, thomas jefferson and so forth, is the sound position to take on political issues. as to ethics and epistemology and aesthetics and so on, that's another story. but if you were talking about politics which is what most ordinary folks are interested from philosophers, from academic philosophers, what position do you hold on, you know, the first amendment, the interstate
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commerce clause, whether one should be able to tell people how do they behave right and wrong and all of that stuff, that's what they want to know. and there i think i can safely be called a libertarian or classical liberal. >> host: who in american politics today most closely aligns with your point of view? >> guest: very few. >> host: very few. >> guest: there are some people whose views in general match mine, and i would say that ron paul would be one of them, rand paul would be one of them. but when it comes down to detailed public policy matters, foreign policy issues, immediately you start finding differences. and it's difficult to align yourself to anybody there because some of us think those things through in great detail,
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and others are perfectly happy to live with just basic principles. so i am something of a what i like to call defensivist in foreign affairs so that, for example, military action should only be taken in defense of one's country rather than adepressing against anyone. -- adepressing against anyone. what about when you have allies and they do something, and you are signed up for it, so to speak, you know? the but in political matters generally i could be identified with those who think that government should follow the exact specs of the declaration of independence. governments are instituted amongst us to secure these rights, and those are the rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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>> host: dr. tibor machan will be with us for three hours, and we have lots of opportunities to mix in your phone calls and also you can send us tweets via twitter at booktv. so lots of ways to connect with us, and we have lots of time as well. we look forward to hearing from you and engaging in your questions and comments. we're going to look at a number of his columns and books, so great time for a three-hour conversation about essential ideas in american political philosophy on this beautiful sunday morning, the first of may. a little ironic, it's may day. >> labor day. >> host: what does that mean to you? >> guest: well, you know, i was born in budapest, hungary, and lived under the stalinist regime there until 1953 when i was smuggled out to what "time" magazine referred to as a flesh peddler, nasty comment. and there may 1st was a major
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holiday. it was, like, a holiday of the workers' movement throughout the world, okay? and it represented a form of, a scary thing to many be of us because there was a lot of talk about the dictatorship of the proletariat, there was a lot of talk about how the pure joy si were pigs and we shouldn't treat them nicely, we should, in fact, if possible liquidate them. so that's the memory i have of this holiday, very mixed. >> host: would you tell us more about your life story, your own memoir, "a man without a hobby." in the beginning of it you tell us about this escape from hungary at the age of 14, but the journey was quite arduous. >> guest: i always explain it to people, remember those black and white b movies back in the '50s starring dana andrews and
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ingrid somewhere or whatever? it was that kind of an episode in my life. it was very adventurous. it was, contrary to what some adults might think, not a scary -- adults always look at chirp as being frightened -- children as being frightened of all of this. and even during the world war bombings of budapest, unless you get hit or blown up by a booby trap, it's more an adventure, at least it was to me. going down to the basement and meeting friends from the apartment houses and so on. so, to me, this whole episode was, it's about time i get out of this hell hole because i was beginning to speak up, just speaking my mind in class when i was told that the most important principle is from each according to his ability, to each according to his need, and i'd raise my hand and say, yeah, but what if i start with $5, and he
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starts with $5, and be i buy a bunch of booze, and he builds a table, and i drink myself under his table, do i deserve the same consideration as my mate here? and then they call up my mother and call me, basically, send me to a technical school because they consider me reactionary bough boy si. this was when i was 11 which was already a peculiar thing. so i was frightened, but also they couldn't keep me down because this just didn't make any sense, you know? and when something doesn't make sense to me, i tend to speak up. and this is, i don't know, maybe it's genetic or something, but it's been with me all my life. and so eventually, my mother who had been divorced from my father, none the less cooperated in this one last venture with him of getting me out of hungary. >> host: so your mother said
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good-bye to you at the age of 14. >> guest: that's right. and gave me two days during which i had to make up my mind whether i would follow the smuggler or remain back in budapest. my mother really gave that choice to me. and didn't order me out and didn't order me in. and i forever i'm going to be thankful to her. she just died march 15th this year at 92, and she was an amazing woman, a brutal one, too, but a very sharp cookie. >> host: and when did you connect with her again after your departure at 14? >> guest: in '69 when she was finally allowed to leave hungary for a visit to her brother in hamburg. i was apprised of this, and i immediately booked one of those group flights to europe, and i had to kill three weeks before i actually got to see her. but it was quite exciting, you know? it was quite exciting. there was so many other stories with it because my father and
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mother were lifelong enemies, and so being under my father's care until i was 18 after which i ran away meant that i couldn't really have a normal relationship with my mother. i had to do surreptitious things, i had to send letters through third parties and so on. so it was an intriguing youth. >> host: well, i'd like to also continue the story about how you got to the united states and when you decided to go into the academy, but we've got some callers already, so let's mix our callers in, and we'll come back to that. norman, oklahoma, you are on the air for tibor machan. >> caller: yes, thank you very much, and i appreciate having tibor machan on today, lee a great classical -- he's a great classical liberal. i came to classical liberalism through the economists rather than through john locke or aristotle, i think, which is more of your approach. and one of my problems, i think, is that, you know, the austrian
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economists and the -- that tradition is far more rich in its classical liberalism than merely, like, a philosophy of right. i have a real problem with a philosophy of right that you tend to expound. now, for one thing i think that your approach ignores the spontaneous ordering of law. you have no -- i don't see how you have a justification, for example, in the law for the doctrine of adverse possession. my, my problem is that you tend to overlook how great jurists such as sir matthew heal and sir -- sir matthew hale has done far more for liberty than john locke who expounded an idea that
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all you need to have is be born as a reasonable person and have fife good senses. five good senses. >> host: caller, we're going to end it at that point. the austrian economist route versus the philosophy of rights and aristotle. >> guest: well, it's difficult not to touch on some intricate details as the caller already noticed. let's say, however, that i am perfectly compatible with hayek and even the current austrians at the von measuring -- mises institute. when it comes to what we think is appropriate for communities, i don't think there's any major conflict there. the details of how to arrive at them, you know, classical liberals have had utilitarians,
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christians, you name it defending their philosophy. i happen to be one who is more on locke and aristotle. but there are a lot of others who are far more sympathetic to mill, and i think anybody who takes this stuff seriously simply will have to get into studying it and then see how to water it down for political consumption. >> host: well, let me get back to your biography because i wrote this quote from your memoir. my interest in politics certainly can be trace today the events of my early life, but i don't think that my particular political outlook can be thus accounted for. if not from your early life experiences, where did it spring fromsome. >> guest: well, this is going to be a strange answer, but maybe one of my books, "initiative, human agency and society," could explain it better than i can in three or four minutes. but let me just give you an
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example. a hungarian who is an avid, modern, liberal democrat, and i am from the same country, roughly the same time having experienced a certain measure of nazi germany and a certain measure of soviet russia, and i ended up a pure libertarian whereas he department. he didn't. we come from same backgrounds and end up with different understandings of politics. human beings, yes, they have to rely on their experiences and what they have learned, but they are also creative. they also have a mind that builds up answers to questions not simply takes others and applies them. and i think that a good deal of
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what i hold is a combination of all of these factors but cannot be reduced to just one. >> host: chambersberg, pennsylvania. good morning or good day to you. you're on the air. >> caller: good morning. good morning, professor. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: i was wondering what your attitude is toward the decline of humanityies education among our undergraduates, and a recent book, a sociological study has indicated that students, our undergraduates are not learning anything that we traditionally value like critical thinking skills, communication skills, especially writing? i was wondering what your comment is on that, on sort of the status of undergraduate education in this country. >> guest: well, having been in the field for 40-some years, i do have some opinions on it.
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i think we have a problem with the fact that early high school, elementary, secondary education is so pressive and so boring and so coercive to so many students by the time they reach college, the first two years, they basically are celebrating having gotten out of high school. and they barely attend classes, they barely read their assignments. now, i'm not talking about princeton and harvard and stanford, i'm talking about the vast majority of people who now think they must have themselves a ba and maybe even an ma in order to get anywhere in life. but as far as their own motivation is concerned, it's rather poor. now, i don't happen to think there's any major problem with the humanities or social sciences or anything. i think they're always in many kind of a pluck.
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for a little -- fluctuation. therefor a little while they'lle taking the backseat, and right now the sciencings after about 40 years of everybody hoping that they will solve everything in their midst are still soaring. but it's beginning to be very evident that having technical know-how is not sufficient to solve the problems of human beings. and i think the humanities are going to come back big time. >> host: staying with life story, here's a factoid about american modern politics that i learned from your book i didn't know, that there was a law that offered free passage to the united states for all post-1952 escapees from communist countries. you took advantage of that, that's how you got here. how long was that law in if e effect? >> guest: you know, i don't have any idea. that was when i was only about 15 years old. it's my parents, my father and my stepmother, who told me about
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this. and it was probably true, and so i included it in this little story. but like with so many things from your past, there's always the qualifier, provided the sources were accurate. [laughter] but i think that really is the case, that under the sway of anti-communism and support for people who managed to survive it and escape it, they made various political gestures that would favor such folks including myself. >> host: and i very much enjoyed and i'd like you to retell your impression of landing in the united states for the first time at the age of 15. >> guest: well, that i remember very well. we pulled into new york harbor at 1 a.m. it was bright, the fdr was full of cars. it was like unbelievable. nowhere in the world -- well, i've been a few places by that
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time. i was? is spain and -- i was in spain and switzerland and denmark and hungary, of course. nowhere have i seen so much robust life at that hour of the day as in america. and it fully supported a kind of romantic view of the united states of america as being full of life, full of bustle, hustle, bustle, scary and everything. >> host: we are, if you're joining us in progress, we're on the set of the, the campus, rather, of the university of southern california. we're here because of the los angeles times festival of books. and all kinds of activity underway behind us as they get ready to open the gates here and allow people through. about 150,000 people come to this festival over the course of its two days, so during our three hours of conversation you'll see set-up going on behind us, and then you'll see crowds coming through, all part of the experience for you this morning on the this beautiful may 1st morning in los angeles,
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california. let's take our next call. it's from henld orson, nevada. henderson, nevada. you're on the air. >> caller: hi, everyone. >> host: good morning. >> guest: hi. my problem with libertarianism is it's reactionary. in the world of state-sponsored terrorism under false flags and the democratization of lethality, the bush administration came up with what they called the 1% solution meaning if there was a 1% chance that a state could have a false flag operation against the united states, for example, 9/11 or the first world trade center attack or pan-am 103, the question becomes how many people would die under 100% libertarian philosophy before we reacted? >> guest: well, i don't think that the lib we weretarians -- libertarians are any less determined to defend themselves than anybody else is.
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they just insist that in the process of defending yourself you don't overstep the limits of using force on others. this is a little bit like what we expect from police officers. we do expect from them to be efficient, determined, unyielding, competent. but we don't expect them to abandon the principles of proper defensive conduct. and that goes for the military of a free society. if it's difficult, so be it. moreover, the libertarian would insist if you took out of the jurisdiction of the government all the stuff that they do that they shouldn't be doing and left all that energy and resources devoted to the proper task of securing our rights as citizens from both domestic criminals and foreign agents, you would be in
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better shape than you are now. >> host: while we're talking about the practical application of political philosophies in society, here's an e-mail. it suggests that, it says some of my best friends are communists. they have said that communism has not rad real trial. and -- had real trial, and i agree. that i could have my own libertarian paradise and my friends their commie. do you have thoughts on these ideas? >> guest: yes, i do, as a matter of fact. you have to remember that the going form of communism, the live option that was essentially initiated by karl marx and frederick engels in their little book called "the communist manifesto," that political philosophy requires that we achieve a form of humanity which
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is brand new. marx called it the new man. the idea is that in order for communism to work, you would have to have a human being with a brand new nature, one who renounces all privacy, one who renounces all intimacy, all specialness about friends, family and so on and who looks upon the entire human race as his or her brother or pal or friend. which is, in this my view, totally impossible, a dangerous dream. it's as if you tried to take a practicing jazz band that are just sort of blowing and having a good time and blow it up into the world orchestra. it doesn't work. a lot of people are sympathetic because in certain very limited contexts like a convent, a
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kibbutz, a commune, an intimate fraternity or sorority these kinds of relations are at least partly manifested. and they're very enjoyable if you get the right crowd. of course, if you don't have the right crowd like in the mafia, then you probably are not going to enjoy it that much. communism is favored by a lot of people as a impossible dream. but anybody who's ever tried it, anybody who's ever come even near it will tell you that it's much more like north korea than it is like canada. >> host: is it possible for libertarianism to be an organizing structure for a society with 300 million people in it? >> guest: that's a very good question. >> host: or is it a goalpost? >> guest: i don't have a ready-made answer for it. my suspicion is that countries should be smaller, that this is too big especially if you have
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substantial democratic elements because a democracy without content, i mean, connections with your fellow citizens and with your political representatives is meaningless. so we have a so-called democracy, but in fact, what we have is an autocracy with a bunch of people up there who rule with some measure of consent from some members of the governed. but that's about it. i think the country should be roughly like luxembourg or liechtenstein or maybe sweden or denmark. but this is too huge, too overwhelming for most people to cope with, especially if it's a bloated status system where the state has assumed to do everything. the public interest for a country like the united states of america is like everybody's private interest which is
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impossible to fulfill. so there will always be complaints and upheavals and alienation and disenfranchisement. so, yes, a smaller political arena would be a better political arena. does it have to be as small as the cities of ancient greece? i don't know. this is where it's interesting. we are so embroiled in trying to figure out how to do the impossible, namely run a huge country that has a democracy, that we are not paying enough attention in our government departments and our political science departments to how we might have a better alternative. >> host: tibor machan our guest on "in depth" this month. our next phone call for him is from seattle. >> caller: yes. i'm so glad to be here with you, professor. i have your book, "individuals and their rights from 1789."
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i was inspired when i read it. you give a great exposition of -- >> guest: you mean 1989. >> caller: yes, i'm so sorry. [laughter] it is a wonderful book. >> guest: sorry, i don't mean to correct you, but let's get it right, i wasn't alive then. [laughter] >> caller: but i, basically, have just two questions, who two questions. one is about political freedom. do you believe that the current health care legislation is socialism? and, two, um, my study of history has brought me to the conclusion that capitalism has a tendency to exploitation, and socialism in the its variation has a tendency to oppression. i want to know what your thoughts are about that, and i'm willing to listen. >> guest: first of all, about the health care system. you know, there are many, many gradations between political
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systems, between socialism and capitalism. there is the welfare state, there is fascism, there is communetarianism, there's all kinds of stuff. if you really want to look into the type of system that fits obamacare, you get a very heavy-handed welfare state but not quite socialism because socialism, basically, means the nationalization, making public of all the major means of production. and remember, that also includes human labor. so human -- so socialism really means controlling human beings' labor. now, that is not part of obamacare. obama has one element that is very -- doesn't sit well with the american political tradition, and that is that people have to go out and buy themselves insurance whether they want to or not. and when you object to something
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like that in the political rhetoric that you use, you tend to throw around terms like socialist and communist and what not. but if you want to be serious about this, that's not accurate. >> host: this question comes by twitter. it says, please, explain the morality of freedom and classical liberalism. >> guest: okay. classical liberalism is not a moral system. utilitarianism is, egoism is, altruism is, christian morality, those are principles of personal guidance. that's what a morality is, an ethics. if you want to know the answer to a moral question, then you have to go through the issue of, well, what is the most important thing for me to live for or to do? when it comes to politics, on the other hand, the question is how should we interact with our fellow members of society?
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what are the principles of human interaction that may be codified in a system of law? so those are different, although they are, obviously, related. one of the things that a classical liberal would argue and my friends doug rasmussen and doug deny owe do this in a book called "norms of liberty," show that in considering the kind of society that you want to live under with millions of others who may disagree with you on many issues, you have to champion one that respects basic rights, dignity, the willingness of everyone to undertake, to live a life of his or her own. you cannot impose on others modes of conduct, ethics that they do not freely choose. so freedom becomes a vital element of a good society because only in freedom is one
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able to choose the right thing rather than be made to do the right thing. >> host: miami is -- sorry, worcester, massachusetts, is our next caller. hello, worcester. >> caller: good afternoon. my name's albert, and all of those who have had enough of the cold, thank you for calling us miami, although this may be one of the last spots in the world where global warming hasn't taken place. i wanted to ask a basic question related to -- [inaudible] given similar settings, it's a question about the commons versus socialist reformist. ..
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>> host: our apologies.let's tr. >> caller: hi. i like to think of myself as a progressive libertarian, whatever that is. i appreciate you taking my call. but you mentioned -- >> host: color, let me stop you. why don't you tell us what that means. >> caller: you are one, you should know.
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you mentioned one of the few politicians that you're more or less on the same page with is rand paul, the son. and what disturbs me about him is he has taken the position that abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape or incest. and that seems to me to be both us and our liberal and has anti-libertarian, as you can get. and i would like to tibor machan if we can leave that topic as i do know i agree with him with the general political position that it takes, as far as his view on abortion is concerned, i think it's wrong. i think there is no human being up until about the 23rd way seventh week of pregnancy. anything before that can't possibly be considered homicide. suppose there is such a thing as killing butterflies. when you kill -- what is it,
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before butterfly? a caterpillar. when you kill a caterpillar you have not yet killed a butterfly. similarly, if you kill this i got, if you kill a fetus at the early stage, you have not killed a human being. whenever rand paul said, whatever ron paul says, i'm sorry, it may not be a visually pleasant experience, but that's just the fact. you cannot send someone to the gallows because of killing a caterpillar, or a fetus. >> host: westfield, new jersey for tibor machan. >> caller: i was listening about the code of ethics in a libertarian society and i was wondering have you seen the rally in society as a social bonsai or do you think of something and into human nature? >> guest: i think is part human nature. i don't think it's a social construct because you can even ask the question, what we
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construct which then would require prior morality before we have the construct. so i think morality is so part and parcel of human life, from the moment you reach any measure of maturity for adulthood, the question of how ought i act comes very naturally. and that's how morality kicks in to our lives. >> host: use been a great deal of time teaching business ethics. i wonder what you think of the 2000 a financial meltdown. >> guest: here is what i think of it. i'm prepared for this one. the united states is what's called a mixed economy. it has socialist, capitalist, fascist, communitarian, anarchists element. it's like a smorgasbord in food. suppose you go on a swedish cruise and you eat a smorgasbord and then you step away, and in three hours you get food
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poisoning. what of that smorgasbord cause the food poisoning? or what combination did? i don't think people have figured that out yet. i think the exact causes of this meltdown are very, very much up in the air. as a general political position, i think the more coercion there is in a system the more problems arise with it. that's a general philosophical decision, not one that relies on a detailed analysis of the current crisis. >> host: what you think of the concept of greed and how that plays into -- >> guest: no more than gluttony or vanity or any of the human sense or vices that people are capable of. greed is just one of the many vices we have. greed is not something that is instrumental in bringing anything about too much. sure, people are greedy. it's when they steal and rob and
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confiscate and export, that's where the problems arise. >> host: related we. if there were a world war iii today, would wall street be on the side of democracy or slave commerce and child labor camps? >> guest: since i'm not a collection of this, i don't believe in wall street be like a person whom i can act where do you stand, as i can ask my friend, george, or my sister. wall street is a whole bunch of human beings with very different political convictions. just look at naked should politically, funds during elections. all over the map. there is no such thing as wall street doing this or wall street doing that. i think that people are reasonably well-off and know that in order to be well off they also have to be reasonably decent human beings, at home and in their neighborhoods, people are recently well off are now going to champion slavery or
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serfdom or any sort of exploitation that involves subduing others against their will. >> host: next telephone call, oregon. >> caller: i was curious regarding your views of libertarianism because i'm not clear about what that means. i am a registered libertarian and i'm not even sure what it means. so could you elaborate. >> guest: let me explain what that means, just like the term suggests, the crucial element of it is liberty. the kind of liberty involves is which i enjoyed when others do not hold me up, or beat me up or kidnap me, or entry to my life. it's negative liberty as they say in political theory rather than positive liberty which is what entitlements are all about.
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libertarianism maintains that negative liberty should be the law of the land, that all laws are legitimate to the extent that they protect people to do as they see fit, provided they did not address up on anyone. by the way, this position is so agent that in a discussion between the greek general and pericles, recounted in the book called memorabilia, there's a dialogue in which the general defends his position on law as the only legitimate law, defensive law, no aggressive law. that's essentially what the libertarians are after. >> host: next call from the hudson valley in new york. your own with the tibor machan. >> caller: hi. i'm sure you probably don't remember me but i took one of your classes back in the '90s. business ethics was the class.
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i enjoyed very much but i was always troubled as how you reconciled your general philosophy, your general libertarian views with the fact that you work at a tech support university for sony district i recall one day he made the statement that taxation, something along the lines you believe taxation is immoral, yet you didn't seem to have a problem working at a public school. it's not like there are not a lot of good private schools out there where you could have major career. i was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little bit. thank you. >> guest: sure. i actually think when you come right down to it, taxation is a form of extortion which we inherited from the feudal era, and the feudal can to taxation is serfdom. but it takes time, a longtime to carry out a revolution that is has deep-seated as would be required to overthrow taxation, substance for raising funds, properly.
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however, let's get to your practical guide should question. all right, so my view is that when you are in a state of society depending on the degree that is involved, you should not work on committing suicide. you should work on trying to dodge, ebay, try to live with the conditions that they should. i've lived under socialism, under communism, under a bit of fascism. and i now live with the welfare state. the welfare state, for example, as public roads, public education. it has a lot of things that are supported in morally and yet we live with it. one thing i always felt, never ask for a raise from a state school, and never promote giving people a raise of increasing their budgets on the backs of taxpayers but as long as i
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adhere to that, and i make it clear in my work, in my talking, not in my classes because i'm not an advocate of these things in my classrooms. i sometimes discuss these issues but my role in the classroom is not to defend some particular position or opposed another position. however, as a human being who has specialized in a certain line of work, i would use my work to make out the case for what i think is right. >> host: you reference the various ways you communicate as your ideas over the years. you teach, write books, write columns just that i have five ways. you know, there's five ways of proving god exists and. i and. i of the five ways of defending the free society. there is the letter to the editor. there's a column. there is the magazine article. there's a scholarly paper. and then there is the book. those are my five ways.
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>> host: teaching is not one of them? >> guest: when you're hired as a teacher the analogy of a midwife comes to mind. you are supposed to explain aristotle and marks and ran and everybody who figures into the discussion. you're not supposed to champion any of these people. anybody who does is engaging and educational malpractice. if you don't defend the positions in the classroom, you familiar students with positions with the pros and cons, nuances and difficulties. you do not advocate. >> host: do you enjoy teaching? ass i love teaching. >> host: what resonates? >> guest: i can't deny that i'm something of a showman. i mean, i volunteered to come here. i did not -- i was not drafted
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but also the fact that people can get excited about ideas that are important on your tutelage, that's kind of a nice thing. look, way back in the case of socrates, plato depicted teaching as even having an element of nuance about the. this is an excitement that is not just some pure spiritual thing but you get all involved after all these people are going to go out and live their life insurance of some of the ideas that you brought home to them. >> host: how may places have you talked over the years? >> guest: why do. i taught at cal state bakersfield was my very first position. i got fired from their after two years. partly because i made a speech, a luncheon speech opposing public education. this was a college that just aren't as a public education institution. it was not reported at the time. the next one was new york in
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weston, new york. i was there for 10 years. and i came back to the west coast and taught in econ department at ucd santa barbara were also taught marxist economics and history of economic thought. and then i went from there to a place in san diego, university of san diego, which was a catholic university. i was a visiting professor there. from there i went to switzerland where i taught at an american university called franklin college switzerland. it was a really interesting experience, almost all the students there were from foreign countries. and we had the most fascinating debates between people from israel, people from the arab countries. i was there exactly at the time when america was bombing the
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libyan air force or where whatever was in 1985 or 1986. it was a fascinating experience to quit public debates and was very animated. then from there i went to auburn where i taught for 10 years. and then from auburn i went to this place right here, chapman university in orange county, which was wonderful change for me. >> host: what you think of the concept of tenure? trade i don't like it. i have left tenured position twice in my career. and never looked back. tenure is debilitating, edgy -- educating debilitating aspect of higher education. it may at some .120 years ago in germany where it was invented, at least to the best of my nose, i'm not a historian of this, but generally speaking tenure could
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be achieved through contract. if you are really that good, if you deserve to be kept on for a lifetime, then deal for this. strike an agreement with your university. they will make it as a matter of public policy like a ripe, like an entirely. so i don't agree with tenure, although it could be part of some institutions. the one size fits all element of it disturbs me. >> host: alexandria, virginia, our next caller. thank you welcome. are you there? we will move on to westlake village, california. your own for tibor machan. >> caller: hello. first of all i'm a little disappointed that the "l.a. times," ucla and basically ucla
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moved the book festival, ucla which supported it for many, many, many years to usc basically -- >> guest: i have nothing to do with it. i'm not sure why you're telling me. ucla is a state university. u.s.a. as a private university so if you asked between the two, i tend to favor the second. >> caller: also it consistent with your philosophy which is basically -- >> guest: right. always consistent. >> caller: my question is -- [talking over each other] >> caller: my question is the key thing that the experience of socialism in eastern europe and has a positive effect on those countries? >> guest: i cannot think of one. i cannot think of one. that's like asking me do i think that libya's president gadhafi
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has been helpful to libya's citizens. know. to me, socialism is anti-human. it is marching people down the line of existence, a social existence that may be too appropriate for two or three people, maybe two or 3%, but this one size fits all regimentation of the entire population of a society is totally anti-human in my estimation drama next call from new mexico. >> caller: hello? >> host: you are on the air. >> caller: okay. professor, i have a question about i believe you explained -- [inaudible] president, what you call that? german -- >> guest: i'm not sure if i
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follow you. are you saying that i left my country because, when i left hungary, it was under stalinist soviet rule. it was only six months after stalin himself died in march of 1953. i lived only a very little period under the knife to influence. however, my father whom i joined in 1953 and lived with us until 1956, was an avowed supporter of anti-semitism and of nazi-ism. side of the taste of what. >> host: do you have a question? commack yes, i have a question. you having to leave your country, is there a correlation between your story and the native american and indigenous native americans here across the united states that were forced into a different situation
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because of the invading dominant society like spain and others from britain? >> host: all right. thank you. i'm going to stop you. did you hit a question? he is a native american, wants to know whether not easy comparisons about -- >> guest: yes, american natives were in a. not all of them. somewhere agreeable to the situation. some were invaded. that was 300 or so years ago. we should learn from it to realize that coercive relationships between human beings, whether they be native americans and europeans are blacks are chinese makes no difference. in every case it is source of deep trouble. >> host: what you think about that concept they are quick she said it was generations ago of reparations. >> guest: if there's anyone
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available who can demonstrate that there were personal losses our economic losses, and there aren't any culprits identifiab identifiable, then i agree that some kind of a court system needs to address those issues. i'm with another libertarian who is now unfortunate now dead, was the author of anarchy state and utopia, india tended to agree that some form of reparations, but only that follows due process of law, not some loose, you know, you guys are whites, pay a. something like that. it's not going to work. it has to follow rules of law drama to, washington good morning. hello, takoma? >> caller: speaking. what i wanted to address the fact that the professor said something about being a fetus. i just want to let him know that at the very moment of conception
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it is a live person but it is a person. it is a human being. and i just -- >> guest: it is a live person but it is not a human being. it is a lie. so is my nail life, so is my hair like my limbs are a lie but they are not human beings. the question is, does abortion kill a human being? not whether it kills something that is a lie. there are lots of things we kill like chicken and beef and fish that are alive, but we are not engaged in homicide. homicide means killing a human being, and murder means killing a human being wrongfully. that is the big issue. i don't think we will settle this issue. however, i did address that topic in the book of mine called "the passion for liberty," which a lot of people criticize because they didn't like my view
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of abortion. >> host: i've got it right it. let's talk about these 30 books you have done. when did you decide to write a book? what motivates you? >> guest: generally, i follow just like almost all i can addition to do, what are the prominent issues in my discipline, and whether i have enough to say on the prominent issue of whether a lot of other people have or have not said anything on it. generally, i happen to have enough of a unique take on many of these issues so that i can easily convince myself that injecting my voice into a debate could enrich that debate. that doesn't mean that i am a humanitarian when i write. i am a professional when i write. i like the layout the case for a position that i hold, but in a
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way that my fellow activations can understand and argue about. drama go back to the biography. when did you decide to choose a life in the academy? >> guest: that's a very interesting question. i was in the united states air force serving at andrews air force base right by washington, d.c. i was at the time in a theater group that i have helped found called andrews players. we were acting, putting on plays, we've had our little oscars called the andes. >> host: so the sense meant even then? >> guest: i was a producer more and an organizer. my english was so poor at the time that many roles i couldn't take it although some of them i could because they call for someone with an accent. anyway, what happened there was that i realized that the members
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of the theater group who were officers were more interesting, had an interesting life, traveled more, then those who were enlisted people. for draftees, if you want. and i wanted to know how you become somebody who gets into that kind of life. and the answer was, i had to go to college and get myself a degree. i was a late boomer. i was 24 when i entered college, but i realized immediately this is stuff that i liked, this is were i want to be. and then, of course, i realize that many of the issues that have been simmering in my system, although not coming out full force, since i left hungary am a required a serious attention and knowledge of history, philosophy, sociology, psychology and so on.
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and so very naturally it drew me into the breast of a hat because that's where you do with these issues. but the real critical point was when i was already in college and i was trying to figure out what subject i should major in, political science, literature, psychology and so on. i decided to take a philosophy course. and almost the very first class, there was something that resonated between me and that subject. and if i could put my finger on it, all of this is reconstruction and not terribly reliable and maybe some shrink can't unearth something much more profound that i don't know about, but what was very interesting about philosophy is in a philosophy class i took, conclusions were to be taught. arguments were examined. we are always engaged in debate,
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and the professor never said, and this is the answer. i thought that's for me. i can get into the game without being wrong from the get-go. and they would lead me to think things through. and that meant a lot to me come and and ever since then i have just majored in philosophy, my undergraduate and masters degree as well as my ph.d. >> host: staying with that subject, in later parts of your book when you're talking about the impact of your career, you know the fact that having taught at the biggest named universities, you haven't been attracted the largest name publishers, so i'm wondering about the acceptance of your line of thinking amongst the biggest aspects of the profession your chosen. >> guest: i don't think it's any secret to anybody that a position that favors so that the
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classical liberal politics, small government, indeed and very small government, is not widely embraced in the academic world. and almost i would say about 70% of those who deal with these subjects, that excludes, say, physicists or maybe metallurgy or something like that, would be left of center. and i have filled this ever since i entered college. when i was an undergraduate, all my professors, maybe i'm exaggerating, almost all of my professors were pushing the essential philosophy of the new deal. political philosophy of the new deal. kennedy was the rising political
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star, and the whole idea of instituting legal principles that kept the government to the role that the declaration of independence spells out for it, namely to protect our rights, was very ill received. yet i held that very early in my group are, in fact, i held it -- i don't remember when i didn't hold this view. i was never a conservative. i was always a classical liberal libertarian. and so, i never experienced a great deal of enthusiasm from my professors, or even from my fellow students for the content of my thinking. they liked me because i was reasonably pleasant and i argued reasonably well. but as far as elevating me to some position of influence, not a.
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answer every book of mine, whether it was an edited book are another that was a struggle to get into print. this changed in 1973 or four when a book was published by basic books from new york. it was the very first philosophy book from a major philosopher from harvard university, educated at princeton, that achieved some spend a part of because its pedigree, partly because he was a brilliant guy. and wrote with verve and fascinating, yeah, energy and was very, very smart. that afterwards people started oh, this libertarian stuff, maybe there's something to it. after which publishing essays or papers and publishing books for those of us who thought that freedom really is the highest
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public goods became a little bit easier. but we never made it -- right now, consider for example, the stars who make it on pbs. someone like michael sandel from harvard university who is such a big hit. he starts, he starts a series of lectures showing why libertarianism is wrong. now, that didn't happen before. but it still happening afterwards. >> host: next phone call from illinois. you are on call mac can you hear me? >> host: yes, we can come back i'm impressed by the speaker this morning and his english is fairly good. i am kind of a liberal arts person, political science. my question is,.
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[inaudible] >> host: does art fit anywhere into it? >> guest: that was a long time ago that i paid attention. i thought existentialism for about two years at freedonia, and i always thought that the biggest shortcoming of this arc is that he announces that he is an ethical subjectivist but then makes very drastic ethical pronouncements about human beings. and i couldn't live without inconsistency very much. but i am, i'm in agreement that pressler the most important aspects of human nature, although he denounces the ideas of human essence still with the most important things about human beings is that they are free to choose, and that's something that i think sartre
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helped revive in 20th century philosophy. >> host: an e-mail from someone who ask what are your thoughts about the value and importance of the great book, liberal arts program offered in santa fe, isn't it also important to avoid religious angle in order to keep students in the next american generation open-minded and progressive? >> guest: i agree. i think the great books is a very good idea. but like everything else, one size does not fit all. and there are people who really opt to stick to math. or to physics. and a little bit of history of science would help, maybe a little bit of intellectual history. but i don't think they should become experts on socrates, on cicerone and so on. however, for those of us who do want to do with the humanities and in a competent fashion the
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great books program is a good what. >> host: we are at the top of our second hour. we're spending three hours on a monthly "in depth" series with tibor machan, and we are here on the campus of unc where booktv is here this weekend because of the "los angeles times" book festival. and we are taking advantage of that to doctor tibor machan who's based in california. do you think of yourself as a californian? >> guest: it's an interesting question. this is but a personal issue for me. i've had such a racket kind of confused history having lived in germany, in switzerland, traveled all over the world, become an american, intentionally. one of the reasons i speak reasonably good english is that i took a very, i mean, made a very determined effort to lose my accent because my model for a hungarian speaking english was zsa zsa gabor. that was disgusting. i had to get away from it.
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so even now i talk to friends of mine who think it's a very vital part of their identity, where they come from. i don't relate to it. i think a more cosmopolitan is being what i like. it sort of like at home in most other places, not very much at home with is a lot of prejudice and sort of parochialism, and so, but i still think that most people will recognize that i have certain european tendencies about me. but i don't make a big deal. you know, identity politics, a friend of mine and also someone i admire, although i disagree with, wrote a book called reason before identity, for oxford university press, like a tiny book. it costs only five bucks. and i think it lays out the case
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or why it is much more important that human beings are thinking beings than where they come from. >> host: during the second hour we're going to work in a few other influences. we have video i want to show you along the way to talk about some of people you write about that affected you. and will continue to take your telephone calls. you can this message is by twitter or e-mail us. we will work all that in. here's an e-mail that seems to fit nicely from the thought of american by choice. this is curtis who e-mails what your thoughts on the term american dream and the way it is used in american politics? >> guest: i think the american dream is a dream for every american to be able to find his or her dream and realize it. this is unique to america and many other places, you are made to march in lock with bunch of other people.
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you are supposed to embrace this tradition or this religion, and that is the exceptionalism that so many people decry about america, that in this country nobody makes you a member of either the catholic group was a lutheran group or the atheist group or the secularist group or any group. you can forge a life for yourself, within reason. you have to be reasonably civilized. you have to speak some english, although that's sort of now pop say i think. -- pase i think. i don't think there's an american dream you can identify. a lot of people make reference as if the with the economic flourishing of every american citizen. i don't think so. art, if one is an american citizen and wants to devote oneself to being a great painter or musician or architect or
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surfer, it's all well and good by american. >> host: next call comes from dallas. you are on the air. >> caller: hello. as a fellow classical liberal and lowercase l. libertarian, i am in complete agreement with your philosophy, but, unfortunately, -- >> guest: that's great. >> caller: ui people like us are in a small minority. it seems to me that these days, i'm 60 years old and i cannot remember a time when the country was more politically fragmented and polarized then we find ourselves right now. our founders set up a system that was supposed to be on a week central government with more autonomy granted to the states, where states, people could locate in a state that suited their individual clinical
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philosophies more closely. and we have moved away from that but there is a current model in our world that works busy right now. it is a swiss canton system where they are autonomous and there's a wide variety of political philosophies that exist within those cantons. i guess where i'm going with this, i wonder what your thoughts are if there's every chance that we will see our country move back to a system like that will allow us to vote with our feet. >> guest: let me tell you that i live in switzerland for about two and half years, and i agree that there's some really, really nice advantages to having a canton system to work with. there are some disadvantages. if this was that a lot of anti-semites among them are people who were against blacks,
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this might mean something terrible for some of the cantons. so that kind of small case but pure democracy can become very dangerous. and so having a general countrywide constitution that reference individual rights i think is a sound approach. and not to be too fragmented at that level. but, you know, there's other things. you say that we have not been so badly off for a long time, but, in fact, there were certain kinds of progress that libertarians ought to be very happy with. for example, gay-rights. women's rights. as a whole bunch of issues, mostly civil libertarian type issues, not economic libertarian issues, where progress has been made and should be very welcomed by those who love freedom. >> host: let's go because we have a person was asking this
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question for me by e-mail. it's about ayn rand. do you know ayn rand? did you know? if so, what was she like lex did you learn anything from her? you said in your memoir that she changed my life considerably. how? >> guest: because she crystallized for me something that i had only had an emotional inkling of. and that is the importance of the human individual. i think rand's the fountainhead and even atlas shrugged really makes it very clear that what is the most important thing in your life issue. everything else is derivative and your children, even if you're me, your friends. if you don't value yourself, all that will be in vain. and by the way, this is not that original. after all, you should love thyself as passionate you should love your neighbor as thyself.
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that's not to be neglected in the christian tradition either. rand is very sharp, very didactic, or was. and i was very taken by her books. i was actually starred in a little play that she wrote before i knew anything about her major works. night of gender 16th in this little theater group that i helped start at andrews air force base, and then later on i became familiar with her works. and i actually met her in 1962 in new york at the empire state building was she at her office. and had a nice 30 minute conversation with her. and then later on we had a breach because i sounded off a little bit harshly in a manner that i disagreed drama we have a noisy background. >> guest: interrupting my important talk.
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[laughter] so anyway, no, i benefited from rand in many ways. let me just say i wrote a book called ayn rand, published by the swiss publisher peter lane which was just translated into german last summer. it was called ayn rand, her works. it discusses all of her books, her major points of her philosophy, a little bit about my history with her. so if you really are interested you want to look into that little book. probably take it from a library that you don't have to, you know, go bankrupt because of it. >> host: there's a great amount of ayn rand video on youtube as people are curious because of the movie out right now and would like to hear. we pulled one short clips of people could hear her. let's listen to and we can go back and talk more about it.
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>> private roads, private post office, private schools spent industry breaks demo don't and there is unemployment and mass unemployment. we should not be permitted to get unemployment insurance. social security, we do not need. will depend upon the self-interest of these enlightened and dutch lists you so admire to take care of things when the economy needs a little lubrication and amounts of people. >> economics. the economy will not break down. they are caused by government interference. and the cure is always offered so far, more of the poison that causes it depression's are not the result of the economy. >> host: thought that was particular about it for the time dragged it is. and i find if grant had more time to discuss this she could have made a case more convincingly, but the fact is
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that all these supposed political remedies of economic difficulties are going to be administered by human beings, by the same type of beings whose responsible for the economic problems. so why do people think that these people, when they collect themselves in washington or in sacramento or in albany, suddenly become angels, and why? as opposed to when they're out in the marketplace trying to strike a deal, trying to make a living, trying to be productive, trying to bring up their families, and amass the resources so they can do so, they are sloppy and irresponsible. i think the issue isn't, is the marketplace occasionally seen a difficulties of problems. it can be, although most of the problems that we are now
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experiencing can arguably be traced to too much in the economy, not too little. for example, that the government wants to monitor a system that the federal reserve bank has practically independent power over the economy. all that is not free market economics. and anybody who is honest about this will recognize that to call this a capitalist system is a rank distortion. this is a mixed economy as a are ready mentioned to you when there are so many elements, that to ferret out exactly to the elements which are responsible for our problems, it's difficult. but let's assume that under capitalism, free market capitalism is what rand is talking about, you do have some problems. there are some supposed to submit suddenly all of a sudden people get so excited about a certain car that all the other cars lack of buyers. there's going to be unemployment in some of the car industry. okay?
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okay, so are people too stupid to cope with this? and if they are, why would the politicians come and aim to remedy this so smart? what, has there been a kind of a genetic engineering that makes people who are in washington smarter or better than the rest of us? see, compared to what is the issue. compared to the meddling type of government is far superior. now, is a perfect? nothing is perfect like that. and anybody who wins for perfection doesn't deserve even -- the famous saying about perfect is the enemy of the good. i totally believe in it. people who run their political thinking by way of these dreamlike criteria are going to be misguided. and they're going to give rise to systems where the powerful
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will try to impose their solutions, and that is disastrous. >> host: i'm going to stay with ayn rand of it. someone wants to know did you see the movie? >> guest: i saw part one of "atlas shrugged" and what did you think? >> guest: i thought it was well enough done, competently done, but i have to be very careful. i read the book in 1961 in one solid day. it was riveting. i thought it was classic, the train ride absolutely. now, in this movie there's no way to recapture that first expect. it's like a first love, you know. you can't just repeat that. let's have many me first loves. you can't do that. i think it's ever bit as good as any of oliver stone's movies like wall street, our the
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seventh day in may which is a very didactic political movie. is it as good as gone with the wind? maybe not as good. but then it didn't have clark gable either. >> host: here's another, this will be very complicated. you can pass if you like. i'm going to ask our dash of hold on. this view by e-mail wants to know if you can compare ayn rand's political philosophy to jesus, which socialism embraced a more? >> guest: well, the problem is that i have a special bone to pick with jesus, that i don't have with ayn rand. if you remember, jesus is often referred to as the prince of peace. and yet, jesus became violent at one point. what was the point at which he became violent?
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>> host: i'm not answering questions. [laughter] >> guest: that was a rhetorical question. it's when merchants were doing deals outside of the church. now, anybody who then holds up jesus asked the prince of peace, when a man loses his cool simply because there are traitors around doing deals from which they're going to support him their family and friends and their neighborhoods, is not my hero. rand has never sanctioned any form of force on innocent people who did not themselves engage in force against others. so i think red is preferable to me. in this respect. now, as far as rand temperament,
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she was a bellicose lady, sometimes rather disagreeable, very intemperate, very impatient your but listen, if you look at almost all of the major thinkers, whether it is against 94th segment for what in our era -- sigmund freud in our era, or rousseau or hugh, all of these people had major flaws. you know that david hume, the famous scottish philosopher manufactured a review of his book, praising it to high heaven because nobody else would review it. this is fraud. does anybody hold it against david hume? no. called popper left a whole bunch of his students fighting with
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each other over how to interpret it. liechtenstein once heard that someone else in his university dared to talk about his position in philosophy so he ran down to the administration and demanded that the man be fired. these guys are sort of near prima donnas, near divas, including rand. they have their personal proclivities. some of them are not so pretty. so again, compared to what? >> host: you have been very patient, thanks for waiting. >> caller: hello. >> guest: hello. >> caller: hello. i just want you to elaborate or talk more about -- i was one if you tell me something about liberty and how that relates to the philosophy of teen.
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>> guest: all right, i will address that issue just now. as you probably know, in plato's republic, socrates outlines a perfect political order. but he does so in the course of trying to illustrate what it is for human being to live right. and he then uses this model of the perfect social order to give a kind of large? of the small matter of running one's own life. it's a little bit like in chemistry, you don't actually look at the adams involved in a chemical compound that you study. you bring up these big huge possibles and that's how you've
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illustrated. that's what plato did with the republic. now, the republic could very well be misunderstood there's zillions of books written on this arguing about this, but it could very well be understood as an illustration of why politics is not the means to our human good life. the good life has to be your own doing. you cannot deploy politics to achieve human goodness. it has to be an individual of accomplishment. are the things that are problematic about the republic? i think there are. it's built up an ideal which is literally in possible, and yet people are trying to or have been trying to implement it. and they went wrong. but the original idea was simply a little bit like when you would see a model on the cover of "vogue," and you say wow, does my wife have to be like this?
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my children? no, it is a mom. it is not a blueprint. the republic, politics is not a blueprint. it is something of a reminder of what is important to human life. and the reminder is the most important thing in human life is thoughtfulness, mindfulness, rationality. >> host: next as a telephone call from tucson. welcome to our conversation. >> caller: yeah, you said earlier that you are against taxation. that's possible -- best possible political situation. what would you see as the governments -- how would the government raise the money to do the jobs that it needs to do as you see them? >> guest: okay.
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first of all, you have to remember that in a bona fide genuinely free society, the government would be a very small element. it's like the referees at a baseball game. or a football game. they are not putting the central issue. they just get some money for keeping the rules going, each acting those who are failing to obey the rules. governments would be defenders of individual rights. okay, so the cost would be far less than what it is now. you could have a budget that is miniscule compared to the budgets of contemporary developed countries. to, you could have come and here i am speculating and i wish more public finance departments at universities would study this, but they're so busy talking about how to raise taxes that they don't even consider alternatives. how about a contract the?
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how about charging everyone who enters into a contract with a certain fee which would protect the integrity of the contracts that if somebody is accused of having violated it, you go to court and challenge? this could take care of the courts, of the police, maybe even the military. if you think about the volume of contracts that is entered into daily, hourly in a country like ours, you can imagine that the money would be sufficient. however, it would not be coercive because you could just shake a hand even for a major union contract with detroit, but nobody would do that. it would be repeated to you wouldn't have the protection of the contract. but it would be possible. and that's the essence of free finance, noncoercive finance. is that the payment is not
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extracted to you at the point of a gun. right now what we have is you pay your taxes or you go to jail. this is kabul to a holed up in a back alley saying your money or your life. that is not what a free society is about. now, do we understand why it still is like that? considering that major oppressive regimes have been in existence and still are in existence throughout the world in human history, that people used to have serfs, there used to be a people's that they came was believed to own the realm over which he ruled, that he owned the people in it. taxation was kind of written that you charge someone who's occupying an apartment in your apartment house. but once the king is demoted as
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the american revolution presumably demoted the english throne, you know longer have the rationale for taxation so you graduate have to move out of that system into something more conducive to free men and women. >> host: westin, virginia. welcome to the conversation with tibor machan. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm not a libertarian. i suppose i'm kind of more left of center, nevertheless appreciate some of the ideas that come out of libertarianism. example, the notions on human reason. i've also been attracted to hikes ideas of spontaneous order. but it seems to me that some libertarians, confronted i don't put you, doctor, would not put you in that category, but it seems that sometimes they fail to remember the notion of the limits of human reasons with regard to their own positions. in fact, i think even he was guilty of at times.
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but, of course, they're not alone on this. you mention a nice contradiction with respect to ethics. for being inconsistent with the opposition isn't something unique to libertarians. nor do you see that coming also see that same feeling with respect to our current political impasse is -- let me rephrase that with effect our current political impact. i think it's a commitment to dogmatism that makes it impossible for us, makes it difficult for us to talk to each other, come up with solutions. >> host: what about a question? >> guest: what is libertarianism physician or in relation to other philosophies, other political positions to extend and kind of the direction i'm interested in? ..
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>> religious communities sometimes people who don't want to have sex and sometimes who only want to have sex, they build their communities and they live in piece with other communities based on very different principles. the only principle that is banned that we may use force on other people to have them comply with our ideals. this is why we do need a constitution in which it is made clear that you do not allow coercion to factor in to human relationships. but beyond that, that's just the
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negative. you can do all kinds of things positively that are very different from your neighbors. and i think the libertarians would agree that such a multicultural, multiphilosophical, multireligious society is possible and desirable. but there are some things that would be foreboden in them, okay? as to human reason, you know, the paradox in what you say is that it seems to require a human reason to discover the limitations of human reason. there's nothing else that we can do. we have to rely on our season there is no other thing. we can't rely on our thumb. we can't rely on our nose alone. we can't rely on tradition alone. all of these things need to be examined critical. now, is reason flawless,
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infallible? certainly not. it's a human faculty. like all human faculty it can experience bumps in the road but it is the best way to go. and mises and hayek when they dislike reason they qualify this. they dislike constructive reason. that is anything that gives rise to massive planned societies. >> host: we're at the halfway point of our three hours with us. to viewers we hope if you're interested we have information about the break about tibor machan and his writings and we'll be back in 5 or 6 minutes in our conversations and we'll see you then. ♪
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>> to have survived and made a life of herself, she almost
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needed that edgy personality; otherwise, she would would have been, you know, destroyed. ♪ >> rand was not treated very well in the late '50s, early 1960s. first of all, she was not an academic, second she was a capitalist which annoyed people on the left and she was an atheist which annoyed people on the right. she was a loner. she was also -- her harshness in her insistence that she had to beat the table every time she spoke didn't even endear her to people who might have listened a little bit more carefully had she been a little bit more
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pleasant. but her unpleasantness, i think, ultimately can be fully justified given the treatment she was given when she came out of the soviet union, told the truth about that country and nobody paid attention to her. and she was terribly upset. she had been a fan of america through its symbols, through its art, through its movies, through it is atmospherics and then she finally ends up in the middle of the country and brings warning about this disastrous experiment and people dismiss her. well, she was just terribly upset and, you know, different personalities react differently to being upset by that. and rand's reaction was to become quite bellicose, you know, but that doesn't take very much away from the substance of
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her thought. it just makes her a difficult sell. it was a catharsis. i was in the air force and i stayed up two nights sleepless, foodless and just read through it. i did cut out the speech and made a little book out of it and would later study, you know. but the train ride, for example, was riveting, the writing describing that train ride just sent me. the money talk was fabulous. the sex talk was okay. a little bit -- a bit old-fashioned, let me put at
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this way and quite believable i found rand and sex completely incompatible. [laughter] >> anyway, so atlas shrugged just had wonderful caricatures of really hateful people you knew in your life, at least mine, having lived under the rule of a nazi father and under the rule of communist government -- i mean, these people were really like that. this is not a caricature. this is the depiction of these people. their mentality. their way of not really paying attention to another person's humanity. this is a characteristic of all of these entrenched bureaucrats and atlas demonstrates this very well. that these bad guys are bad because they violate humanity,
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not because they violate god, not because they violate some ideal out of this recalled but because they're not well grounded in the way of human life. john galt represents the human capacity and willingness to take one's life and make the most of it. i think rand's great legacy is to have rescued this tradition from obscurity and giving it a passionate twist and captured it in fiction which excited a lot more people than some dry treatise would have. then, of course, to give capitalism this sort of backing where it is completely pro-life,
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prohuman beings, prohuman life and that to show that without freedom, one is usually much worse off than with it. there can be some rare, bizarre exceptions but if you want to know the general truth of it, the free society is the superior alternative to anything else that has opinion thought up by human beings on the political fron front. >> you're looking at live pictures from los angeles, the campus of usc, university of southern california on this sunday may 1st. it is our site today for our monthly "in depth" conversation. we're joined on our set, on the usc campus by tibor machan, who's the author of more than 30 books. we've been spending an hour and a half with him and we have an hour and a half left to go and we're mixing in your calls and emails and tweets about his
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philosophies. and i want to some of his book jackets before we go any farther. passionate liberty. here's a collection of columns called neither left nor right. this one i got to get to this before our program finishes, dr. machan. putting humans first: why we are nature's favorite and here's one we referred to earlier, a man without a hobby was -- is a memoir and we referenced that heavily in the first conversation. here's a recent title equality so badly misunderstood. and the one currently available in favorite booksellers right now, why is everyone else wrong: explorations of truths and reason. do you have a favorite among these? >> you don't actually have my favorites here. one of them is called capitalism and individualism that was published by sein-martin and
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another one was published in 1998. these are basic laying out and defending positions, and the capitalism and individualism addresses the issue of what kind of individualism it is that the free market capitalist society rests on because there are so many people who claim that capitalism is atomistic and it has a narrow view of the individual and that it is narrowly selfish as if people are out there grabbing whatever they can. and these are such distortions about the nature of capitalism. anyone who knows anything about free men and women doing commerce realize that they have a much richer life than these
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doctrines allege so i'm very interested in having that book get out there. >> gettysburg, south dakota, our next caller on "in depth." you're on air. >> caller: hello? >> host: we can hear you. >> caller: professor machan i'm a libertarian-type atheists. you were asked earlier if eastern european socialism had contributed to anything and you said no. didn't it make atheism generally respectable in western civilization. >> guest: first of all, atheism is a narrow position that i don't believe goth doesn't exist on that. you can't build anything on it. you can't do anything with that without refuse to accept faith as a basis. second, what the kind of central european socialism that did for
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atheism is give it a very, very bad reputation because it imposed it on schools, on families, on organizations and so on. and that is really not what freedom is about. freedom has its risks. people can believe in stuff that are wrong, that is wrong. so i'm not very happy with the sort of imposed atheism or nonpolice chief -- nonbelief that you have had in socialist countries like north korea and castro's cuba and so on. >> caller: dr. machan, my question is something about you mentioned very early in the interview. you said pleasure peddlers who trying to get the people out of their hungary. what was their motives were political, monetary? were they hungarians and et cetera?
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and i have another question too, very briefly, what do you think of the conspiracy theory of the global government, that type of thing? thank you. >> guest: okay. the first one -- the flesh peddlers and as i said, this was a term that was used by "time" magazine back in the 1980s in a very derogatory essay they wrote about these people who were of enormous help to thousands and thousands of d.p.'s, displaced people and so i was very angry with "time" demeaning the work that these people did. i suppose, that "time" magazine, like so many other organizations in the world, would have loved to have these people do something for nothing. you can't make a living if you do something for nothing. and they had to collect some fees from their clients and that's exactly what they did. i'm very happy that they did it because without some fees, they wouldn't exist. you wouldn't have barber's if
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they couldn't charge a price for cutting your hair. anyway, so that's one thing that i find about this flesh peddlers. i was very thankful that there were professional smugglers who were willing to take the risk of bringing people like me out to the west away from the tyranny of soviet-style socialism. now, as to the conspiracy theory, you know, i find old conspiracy theories weird because if there's so much of a conspiracy, how come we know about it? it seems very odd. if everybody is worrying about things that are secret, in fact, that's what their great advantage is supposed to be, that nobody knows about them. but we all know about this stuff so there must be something bizarre going on here. i'm not sure what it is. >> host: next call is from bradenton, florida. you're on the air.
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>> caller: yes. some of the questions that i wanted to raise to dr. machan have already been answered, and i'm seeking knowledge not interested in saying what i think. perhaps one of his books would be a brief outline on the ideal or perfect libertarian community or communities. i know the governments still exists on a smaller form. and the -- is it sort of an umbrella for small independent communities? i just want some more information on how it would work. >> well, first of all, i did actually write a book directly addressing your question called "libertarianism defended." it was published very recently.
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i think it was 2006 by a british publisher called ashgate. and it addresses many of these issues. number one, i consider libertarianism not an ideal. in fact, my latest book on libertarianism, "the promise of liberty" is subtitled "a nonutopian vision" i don't think libertarianism should be thought of as an ideal but as a practical solution to people's community problems. and as such, it introduces and defends and elaborates the idea that people should relate to one another peacefully, even when they're in deep need, even if they're very angry. you do not resort to violence towards other people. so that's a very crucial element of libertarian. within the limits of that principle, a principle that
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would be upheld in the law, all kinds of things may be done. you can start an orchestra, a play group. you can have a farm. you can have sports. you can have any kind of human activity. and one of the biggest reasons people don't readily support libertarianism is they forget that many of the things that they now count on the government to do would be done by people in the free society of their own initiative, not because they have to do it because it would be a good idea to do them. now, if you say, well, but we can't have any guarantees then, do you think that the government provides real guarantees? i think you should look at our current budgetary situation. >> well, here's a related question. john sends an email, i'm conflicted. i voted for ron paul in the last election and i'm an admirer of
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theodore roosevelt. he created over 300 parks, national parks, a libertarian we would not -- we would not have all these places referred for us. please comment. >> guest: well, once again, it exactly illustrates what i just said. just because the government does not maintain public parks or natural conservation or whatever, i discuss this in my book "putting humans first" because i realize that a lot of people are very great champions of the wilds. i don't like to call it nature because i consider a bridge, i consider a television program very much part of nature. so what they are -- what they are for is the wilds. they want wild animals, wildflowers, wild trees, wild mountains and so forth. and i don't see why -- if the government has enough support in a democracy to fund these
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things, to uphold them, to maintain them, why in a free society that wouldn't be the case? i happen to think that there would be just as much room and call for these kinds of undertakings amongst free men and women than there is right now among partly freed men and women. >> host: we have another caller. you're on. >> caller: well, this is a dream of mine to talk to you dr. machan. i'm a 26-year-old former philosophy undergraduate. i'm here at law school in ole miss. you're a hero of mine and it was my birthday yet and you're the best gift i received. i'm a former intern with "reason" magazine and i know you started with robert poole would you talk about when you started reason and what do you think the future for it is, and my second question, is i'm a young guy and
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i'm interested in the intellectual unit and you and robert are heroes and got me out of the studies i was in. what advice would you have for a young guy like me in law school to get involved in this rich intellectual tradition and to really make a difference. so thank you, i love you, c-span. and your ring, dr. machan. i love your ripping. >> guest: well, thank you very much. here's the answer to your first question. back in 1969, we became aware of a small minimum graph publication with a great logo called reasoned and bob poole was out there at mit and he also got excited by lanny, eventually published both him and me in this little magazine. bob and i liked it so much that we decided that we're going to put it on a regular basis on a monthly basis. we know got together with manny, an attorney here in los angeles who's still an attorney here in los angeles. and the three of us, including
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our then wives or ex-wives, those are too many details i don't want to get into -- we put indeed this whole idea plan into practice. one of our central gimmicks was to interview little known libertarian thinkers in the general culture or well enough known to many of us like thomas, nathaniel brandon, jim buchanan, bill -- all these people and we featured every month an interview. eventually we interviewed bill buckley and we interviewed -- oh, many others, milton friedman, f.a. hayek and that became a kind of centerpiece of "reason" magazine back then. since that time, "reason" has developed into a more popular, a
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bit more hip hop version of its former self where there's a lot of emphasis on looking good and being reasonably clear and accurate but not much in depth. the philosophical bent that was very important to us in the publication earlier on is now hardly there. i mean, i've written like 40 books. they've reviewed maybe one maybe 20 years ago. they're not interested in this kind of approach to political issues anymore. and frankly they don't even publish anything that i send them even if it's a letter to the editor partly because they've changed their approach. they want to appeal to a mass audience and, frankly, philosophy has never been appealing to the mass audience. just look at when socrates was a philosopher. they pretty much killed him for it.
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>> host: william f. buckley is described as one of your great influencers. in what way? >> guest: well, what happened is back in 1961, that's roughly at the time when i ran across ayn rand and there was a book why don't we complain and there's a nice essay if you don't complain eventually you build up hatred and you blow and that's how other countries have these violent revolutions; whereas, more or less democratic societies tend to move from one form of government to another rather peacefully. and i thought that's a great insight and as i'm woe to do and i took a pen and paper and wrote to buckley. and buckley was kind enough to respond to me even though i was this nobody reader, you know? and we started a correspondence.
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and he was a very erudite, even a little snooty, and i wasn't, so once i asked him why do you have to use these big words because i want to influence people who use big words. that was his answer. anyway, buckley was also quite religious. he was a roman catholic. i was a roman catholic when i was growing up until i was about 20, so we had some arguments about that. and he wasn't so much of an influence on me as somebody who showed me that with some tenacity and perseverance and some chutzpah you can get your ideas out there and have them considered. >> host: next question, minot, north dakota, hello, caller. >> caller: hello, yes, earlier in the program, the professors said the taxes are immoral and that you would raise funds by
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putting a fee on contracts. now, to raise the money for national defense and highways and big, big projects, are you suggesting that this is a form of value-added tax of that? >> guest: let me answer your question is a more general political and theoretical way and this is it. try to deal with someone like a no, ma'amnist who is trying to bring about communism and ask him about these details. what would he do about this, about that, about the arts, about the opera, about tennis or what not? you'll find that most of the people who are sketching you broad approaches to political affairs don't have answers to those questions. they will allow them to emerge but within the confines of basic
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principles. so as far as how we finance various things in a free society. the only answer that an honest libertarian can give you is without coercion. the rest of it needs to be discovered, explored. that's what think tanks are for. that's where university political universities and public finance are for. they are not something that you can lay out. you can hint at them. you can sort of speculate at them, but the details are in emergence. >> host: we've gotten variations of this from a number of viewers. here's one, as the libertarian, how do you feel about the patriot act? >> guest: i'm not very enthusiastic about the patriot act. any act that leaves such a heavily loaded biased name to it you have to look at with some suspicion. it's probably not really
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patriotic. my view is that if the government could find itself to what it really ought to be doing, it would not have to propagandaize its legitimate job. it could just do it and it would serve us well. >> host: next call is from boise, idaho. welcome. >> caller: hi there. this is a real pleasure. first time caller. recently i've discovered the world of ideas and i've become very interested in it. and i was wondering, doctor, if you can comment on the relationship between these three disciplines and even though it's this is going to be very simplified, have the hard sciences reveal typical facts. do soft sciences reveal statistics through clinical studies, et cetera?
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and then you have literature which seems to speak to human truths. i'm interested on any comment how those two interplay with one another and how they feed to you as a philosopher and i'll take your comments off the air. >> host: the hard sciences and the soft sciences of literature? >> guest: they're really different things. literature is a sort of creative process and the soft and the hard sciences are a discovery process. now, there's a creative element through the hard and soft sciences and that would be technology. but on the whole i think that they are all of this world. at some basic level, the most important thing in all of them is that they remain internally consistent and do not degenerate
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into meaninglessness and fuddy-duddy stuff and into deconstructionism, and into methodologies that are inherently incoherent and champion themselves as more sophisticated than simple old good thinking. so but as far as i'm concerned, the sciences, the soft sciences, and the rest of our concerns, are all pretty much consistent, mutually re-enforcing, but not the same. >> host: will you tell me about this book. >> guest: "cute is not enough" is a little book that i decided to write with my daughter who was at the time 5 years old and pretty much didn't write any book. but she was very cute, and i knew with little girls who are very cute, there's this danger that they -- they might grow up counting too much on their looks
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to get them by in life. so i wanted to have this little memory for her to remind her that, yes, cute is wonderful. it's great. being beautiful is a very wonderful asset to have, but it is not something that one should rely on to carry one for life. >> host: and how does she think about it? >> guest: she loves the idea. she's completely with it. she's now 27. my 32-year-old older daughter is stunning. none of them have tried to capitalize with their looks. i actually want them to do some more because it might make them rich so i don't have to pay for so much. [laughter] >> host: next call, laguna woods, california. hello, caller. >> caller: good morning and thanks, professor, for a dynamite, thoughtful discussion here. it occurs to me -- i'm libertarian, too, it occurs to me that the flip side of big
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government is citizen. and an the big extreme is north korea where you're the property of the leader and the other extreme libertarians which has the idea that you're fully capable of running and owning your own life and the role of the state is to protect your rights, not to impose morality no matter how popular that morality might be. in the middle are the democrats or republican parties that view you as a public/private partnership where in my view you're increasingly the junior partner. and for them the role of the state is to impose morality. >> guest: i agree with you. i don't know exactly what we're going to argue about. [laughter] >> guest: but let me just say this, neither the north koreans, nor a possible libertarian society is going to have everyone conform to the theory that puts them into play. after all, there are people in a
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relatively and in a fully free society who would be unlikely, who will have impediments, who will need help. i just happen to think that free men and women will provide that help much more readily and efficiently than governments do. as far as north korea is concerned, i'm sure there is a black market in north korea. i'm sure there are men and women who are carved out a little sphere of freedom for themselves, just like we did in hungary, just like people in cuba do, just like people who have been doing it in venezuela when that dictator gets full power over everyone. so nothing is ever like a gemetrical, clean system. >> host: i want to play a clip from president obama on april 13th. it was his widely viewed his philosophical speech setting the groundwork for his next election campaign. here's just one little bit of it. you're going to listen, okay? >> there's nothing serious about
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a plan to claims to reduce the deficit by spending trillions on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and i don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on capitol hill. that's not a vision of the america i know. the america i know is generous and compassionate. it's the land of opportunity and optimism. yes, we take responsibility for ourselves but we also take responsibility for each other. for the country we want and the future that we share. >> host: tibor machan? >> guest: well, if we take what the president said here literally and we were really talking about generosity and help toward our fellow citizens, i would have absolutely nothing against this except with the sacrifice bit. i think that's not a sacrifice.
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that's just reaching out. the problem is that he's not really proposing generosity and help. he is proposing forcing people to provide for other people, whether these people want to do so or not, which is not generosity. the virtue of generosity must be exercised voluntarily, not at the point of a gun. if you're not generous the way president obama wants you to be generous, you'll go to jail. you may even get shot if you try to escape as they take you to jail. so to me, this whole talk is an empty rhetoric he doesn't mean it and whatever little he does mean of it is probably impossible because you cannot sustain the kind of welfare state that he advocates by
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relying on the voluntary contributions of citizens. moreover, the rich are perfectly capable of spending their money productivity. they don't need president obama to come and take it from them and then go out there and spend it themselves -- himself. this is like saying that the bank robber has a better idea of what my money should be used for than i do. it's not true. the rich, if they earn their wealth, if they came by their wealth without ripping anybody off ought to have every right to allocate their resources to redistribute the wealth, if you want to put it that way, free of any government intervention. this is the myth of government as the big brother, the nanny, the all wise and all good
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entity. as if those people knew better what our money ought to be spent on. they don't. bureaucrats and politicians spend money according to their agenda. there is no such thing as the public interest apart from the one that the american founders identified and that is to protect our basic rights. that is the public interest and that's what governments are established for. >> host: back to calls. this one is from california. hello, caller. >> caller: hello, good morning. hello? >> host: you have a question for us. >> caller: yeah. i really -- i wonder about libertarian philosophy because it doesn't seem to make a lot of connection between power in the private sector and liberty. i mean, there's all kinds of things you can point to. alan greenspan got up in front of congress and pretty much said
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i was wrong. you gave all this power to a few people and they tend to abuse it -- for their own best interest. and that would cross over into the whole idea of transnational money, which is power and the speech which is declared by our supreme court rarely influencing america and being -- you know, i can't see the transnational is a patriotic institution. i'm not sure what john locke would say about that, but i know jefferson and many others would not agree. >> host: let's pick it up from there. thank you, caller. >> guest: well, i'm not sure what this caller is talking about because alan greenspan was the chairman of the federal reserve bank, which is a completely anti-libertarian institutional society. in a genuinely free society,
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banks print money. and back it up with wealth. it's not a federal issue. having a federal reserve bank would have a federal flower bank for the libertarian. it is not appropriate for the federal government to mess with our finances. it's supposed to mess with keeping the peace amongst each other and between the country and other countries. so this entire equivocation between libertarianism and some of the current posturing as free market and capitalists has to be rethought and a careful thinker is never going to commit that kind of equivocation. >> host: were you surprised alan greenspan a student of ayn rand
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changed the position? >> guest: alan greenspan thought, i believe, that it's better to have him there than to have, say, ralph nader there in that position. so he took it. but a position like that corrupts people whether they like it or not. and when you have that much power over other people's lives and economic affairs, it is very difficult to keep your hands clean. and did he make any bad judgments? probably because he shouldn't have made any judgments. that's not his role in life. now, there is the thing about alan greenspan maintaining that self-interest would drive the market toward good behavior. it would if the institutions surrounding the market weren't so stateist so that everybody sees a benefit from cozying up to the government and getting favors. and so under the circumstances, the kind of assumptions that
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operate in a genuinely free market are not operative. >> here's an email from a viewer who picking up your discussion on "reason" magazine wants to ask you, can you please discuss the split between the beltway libertarian such as "reason" magazine and the cato institute with the more radical libertarians such as the mises institute and ron paul? >> guest: you know, i have very interest in these disputes. at the bottom of them is truly a turf war. everybody would like to have the leadership position in even the smallest movement. you look at any movement anywhere in the world, whether it's the communists, the socialists or the moonies or the haddi krishna, those kind of risks are ubiquitous and i don't think the libertarians can escape these human proclivities any more than any other group of people. >> host: we have 45 minutes left in our three-hour conversation
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on "in depth" this sunday morning in may with tibor machan. our next telephone call for him is from lafayette, louisiana. you're on the air. >> caller: hi. i got to tell you i have had some great people in my life, my father, ronald reagan. i'm a big fan of william f. buckley and a man by the name of goldwater, if you remember him. and i now get to add your name to that list. i very much have enjoyed your philosophy. i was fortunate enough after i made my second fortune, i lost the first one, going to your country in budapest. and it was in '72 and was on my way to moscow to the world petroleum congress, and i was so -- it was so hurtful to see no smiles, no happiness when
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everybody got off the tram to go to work in their dull surroundings. thank god it's not that way again. and that that horrible thing called socialism is gone in that country. >> host: thank you, caller. let me ask you -- i'm sure you've been back to budapest? >> guest: yes, i have. and this caller actually reminds me of a trip that i took two years ago. i was at a conference in budapest and my mother at the time was living in austria so i decided to take a train the first three days that i was there to visit my mother. and the most amazing thing is that the train went through exactly where i went to when i escaped in 1953. nobody looked at my passport. nobody asked me anything. no cops walked up to me. nothing. and at that time is when the beginning of this financial fiasco hit in america, and i wrote a column saying, you know,
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it really could be much worse. and i compared the improvement of having finally gotten rid of the soviet colonialists. the soviet has got their problems with the western states but compared from what they lived through from 1948 to 1989, i mean, it was heaven. and you can see a lot of smiling citizens of budapest now. >> host: next call, edmonds, washington. >> caller: hey, all right. hello? >> host: caller, we can hear you. >> caller: okay. hey, listen, i need to find out the libertarianism -- [inaudible] >> guest: of the social darwinism kind of. i need to know how
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libertarianism might deal with the mentally ill population. we have quite a bit downtown where i work in seattle. yeah, that's it. >> host: that's another tough call. it was on a cell phone. it was how libertarians feels about conservation. i hope i got that right, caller. >> guest: the libertarian's very general answer is we do not need the coercive state to achieve any of our values with the muslim -- museums, the facilitation of our wildlife conservation, space exploration. free men and women do all of this much better than coercive states do. this is the confidence that stems from an underlying
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philosophical building that libertarians all same. libertarians are not in the same philosophical bag but they generally think human beings can be trusted to solve their problem better without a gun in their hands than with a gun in their hands. and that the comparison is between a free society and a coercive society, not a free society and one led by angels. >> host: next is albany, new york. caller, you're on the air and welcome to the conversation. >> caller: thank you. i have a question about what process congress could use for reasoning. and here's what i mean by that. because of the greeks and the success of western civilization, we use argumentation in our -- in advocacy in our court system but it seems we're using that in
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our courts -- we're using that in congress to make decisions. and so instead of an adversarial decision-making process, is there a different form of reasoning and argumentation that would be more productive and make our congress be able to get through the significant problems we have with financial deficits, et cetera? >> host: okay, thank you. >> guest: well, i would say there's a big difference between the role of the adversarial process and the law versus its role in arriving at public policy conclusions in congress, for the bureaucracies and so on. i think there's a lot more to depend on when it comes to the forging a public policy than merely a kind of hostile argument. however, in the courts, the courts start with hostilities out there. somebody says, you did it to me.
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i want some restitution or rectifycation and the proof is there and those who can come back and challenge this truth and this is part of the so-called adversarial process and it's adversarial only because when people enter the court they are already on a different page about a certain issue. >> host: so many people who watch this program are interested in the process of writing. how do you write? >> guest: when i was about 30, i was watching the huntley brinkley report. you can tell that i'm not a young person anymore. and i noticed that some idea occurred to me while they were reporting the news. and i thought, oh, well, i'll deal with it in a couple hours
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and then i stopped. i said, no, i'm going to turn off this tv and i'm going to go to my remington typewriter and i'm going to knock out a few paragraphs about this issue before it becomes hazy. i have never departed from that approach. in the middle of the night, if i wake up and some idea occurs to me, as much as i'm tempted to turn around and bury my head in my pillow, i get up, go to my computer and i will write something on it. and over the years, this has become second nature to me. and so that's one of the reasons that i'm so prolific. it's not because i'm that ambitious. it's because i do think that many of the ideas i how old are sound ones, are good ideas. let's get them out there. >> host: were you one of those who were sentimental about the news that the last typewriter came off the production line
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this month. >> guest: i'm not a sentimental type. i figure computers are pretty good. laptops are good. maybe even ipads are pretty good. you know, instruments are instruments. what really counts is the people. >> host: colorado, springs, hello to you. welcome to our program. >> caller: hello. in atlas shrugged, ayn rand said she was opposed to robin hood, a legendary character. when errol flynn played in my view the definitive robin hood, he as robin hood stole taxes -- >> guest: it's just -- rand is a victim of a false legend. she did not realize that robin hood was actually not stealing from the rich and giving the
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loot to the poor but taking back what belongs to people that the taxpayers -- i mean, the tax-takers have taken from them, so you're dead right. >> host: next telephone call, river view, florida, hi, caller. >> caller: hi, can you hear me. hello. >> host: yes, sir, we can hear you. >> caller: thank you. when i was wondering -- i'm a mark twain and has he read any mark twain writings especially what i think is as important from his writers from earth and the adam and eve diaries? i think he gives a lot of insight about human nature. >> guest: i grew up on mark twain. when i was a kid, i was 9, 10, 11 years old. i read huckleberry finn, tom sawyer in hungarian.
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i became a fan. and i continued reading all kinds of american fiction. zane gray, i must have read 40 zane gray novels. i read all of the earl stanley -- in fact, my nickname in budapest when i was only 9 years old was perry ma-shon because i didn't know how to pronounce mason. i'm a big reader of all kinds of books. my favorite novelist is, of course, somerset mom although i can't chasm up with him. although i'm reading them regularly and loyally. but i read all kinds of other authors and i -- and one of the most interesting interesting things about fiction to me is how these authors put you in the minds of other people. things that you would never be
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able to achieve by your relationship to other people unless you are extremely close to them. instead, you have these wonderful novelists, of all kinds -- and i have -- i mean, i have favorite novelists who are commies like what's his -- menchel, the swedish guy. and they're just artists about penetrating human consciousness and looking outward from a new person. and to me that is without a doubt a major value in human life. >> host: here's an email and you've addressed the first half but the not second. the first half how does the mortgage crisis and banking foreclosure fit in with ayn rand and we talked about it but what is the solution for the $14 trillion problem we have in u.s. >> guest: i don't have a
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solution. suppose somebody throws you out of the building and you're down in the 30th story. i'm sorry it's too late -- you could maybe have solved the problem before you got thrown off the 70th floor. right now the only thing we can do is perhaps tighten our belts and make enough room and give enough incentives to people who work harder and invest more even though for a long time they are probably not going to reap the fruits of that investment and hard work. >> host: well, this is a good time to bring in this book, i think. and you said you wanted to be sure to talk about it and your co-author here. >> guest: jim chesher is my best friend in the world. he's a wonderful guy.
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he and his wife, vicky, are just dears of mine. they don't agree with everything i believe. and vicky is a very much more a conservationist and an environmentalist than i would be, but jim and i decided to write this book because we both find it very annoying that so many people have a prejudice against wealth. the rich-bashing that goes on, even in america, which has a legal system and culture that is more hospitable to commerce than any others around the world. nonetheless, there is this animosity, whether it comes from envy or whether it comes from the historical experience that for centuries and centuries on, it was indeed through pillaging and robbing and oppression that people got wealthy but that is
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not no longer necessary. it still happens around the world but now you get wealthy through trade, through a win-win situation and not a zero-sum game. and we make out this case and travel around it and examine the sources of the hostility toward prosperity. >> host: york, pennsylvania, next telephone call. hello, new york. >> caller: how are you doing, professor machan. >> guest: i'm doing fine. >> caller: i always considered myself for a long time a conservative but more and more these last years i think i'm becoming more libertarian. and -- but my biggest question about libertarianism and how to use that as a form of government would be the transition from what we have now to libertarianism. and let me preface that with an example. if you were to transfer the government from what we have now
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to a libertarian form of government, a truly libertarian form of government -- if you've done it over a period of time, it would perhaps take too long and it would end up reverting back to what it is now, or if you did it too fast, it would be such a disruption that -- it would cause chaos and that's my question. thank you. >> guest: well, i don't think you can get too chaotic compared to the middle east right now. so i think whatever you have here that moves in the direction of a genuinely free society would be far more peaceful, someone upsetting to rent takers, people who live off other people. people who are in the entitlement mentality and believe other people owe them a living. this would be problematic for them and for their supporters in the academy and there are zillions of them. however, it has to be remembered changes come through slowly. try to get rid of a bad habit.
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try to quit smoking, try to stop scratching your head when you're not supposed to. it's very, very difficult. i think that there's greater hope in moving in the direction of freedom than in reverting in the direction of slavery. >> host: this is an email question about anarkism. do you think that anarkism is a system that can protect individual rights? >> guest: anarkism literally means no foundations. arcism is foundations. ankitch anarkisms is the opposite, it beliefs in no god. it's just a negative. you have to have a solution of the problem of law maintenance and law enforcement. and there are anarchists who are socialists, who are communists,
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who are pacifists and they maintain they have the solution. one of the most prominent solutions advanced by so-called anacrh libertarians or capitalists is what i like to call a mobile government, government that moves from one region to the other. takes on the task of settling disputes and then moves on. i don't think it's really a workable system. i've written on it on and off. some of my writing is a little bit speculative about this. i think that regional integrity is necessary for a functioning legal system. so since i don't see this regional integrity evident under
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any of the anacho libertarian principles i've encountered going all the way back to benjamin tucker and josiah warren and to mary rothbard and to roderick log, my coeditor of the book, which is called "is government part of a free society" also from ashgate, i think it's an idea that needs to be explored, not categorically rejected. it's an idea for political philosophers to chew over. i don't have a quick answer but i am very skeptical that you can combine sound defense of human liberty with it. >> host: eugene, oregon, our caller. welcome. >> caller: this is a very interesting program.
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i have wondered about libertarianism practical application and the questions i have are -- what if there were 50,000 libertarians and given a nice plot -- an ordinary plot of land to build their community? they would want a school. how would that be funded? >> guest: you never heard of private schools? there are thousands of them in the united states alone despite the fact that you are already made to pay for public schools. your property taxes support public schools and yet a lot of parents decide it's more important to have schools out and far away from the state and, therefore, they support private
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education for their kids. so the schooling example is not one. now, here are some difficult ones with roads, would roads be public or private? many libertarians think that you could sustain a private road system and it would be better, for example, and it would be better than a public road system, yes. i mean, these are all interesting issues. and if you are really serious about liberty, you would spend some time examining what solutions have been offered. that's what i do. >> host: eagle, colorado, your question for tibor machan. eagle, colorado, second try. all right. all right. we're going to move to our next call from texas in the town of laredo. welcome, caller. laredo, texas.
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>> caller: hello, god bless. i figured we could all use a god bless at this point. >> guest: hello. >> host: all right, caller, i'm going to move on. and let me go to an email then and we'll get some calls lined up that are connected for us. this one is a viewer and i don't want to move up asking the framers of the constitution referred to the american government as a republican forum in contrast to democracy which referred to the past failed experiment in popular government. if this is correct, when did the u.s. revert back to democracy? >> guest: well, officially it has quite never revert back to democracy because, for example, the first amendment to the u.s. constitution clearly bans any kind of vote establishing some national religion or coercing members of the press to behave
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in various ways. so these are off limits to the democratic method. there are a lot of other things, unfortunately, that have become available for democratic decision-making. and that is unfortunate, however, one reason that democracy is so prominent and widely embraced, not only here but abroad is that for centuries on end, no ordinary human being had been recognized as having a right to make a difference in public policy. they were always ruled by czars, by monarchs, by pharaohs, by groups of well-dressed thugs. and so now finally after so many centuries the idea came up that
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maybe everybody who was being ruled ought to have a say about what is to be enforced? what is to be made part of the rule of the land. that became a substitute for almost a fundamental value and that is liberty. >> host: next telephone call comes from orange county, california, not too far away from where we are right now in los angeles. orange county, go ahead, please. >> caller: thank you. bravo, dr. machan. and thank you for answering my call -- my question through the email. this is my second question to you. dr. andrew altman from georgia state, his law and morality, presents judgment at nuremberg. he has a clear account of this controversial trial. now, do you agree or disagree, not personally, but on the merits of this trial as it pertains to following the rule of law? thank you. >> guest: i think that the
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nuremberg trial had some technical difficulties about it given the kind of systems of law that we have around the world. however, i do think that you could have a perfectly legitimate world court of the sort that that trial kind of assumed was in operation. and have people who committed war crimes and genocide put up for serious criminal violations and examine the issue under the rule of law, so i am not really that upset about nuremberg not being technically an exact manifestation of good legal process. >> host: next call is little rock, arkansas. >> caller: yes. >> host: little rock, are you
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here? >> caller: yes, i'm here. can you hear me? >> host: yes, sir. >> caller: my question is regarding -- is the doc making -- or what does he think of partial birth abortions? where the birth process is over 23 weeks? and also an unrelated question is what does he think of the writings dr. thomas so and dr. walter williams. thank you. >> guest: okay. well, i do not agree with partial birth abortions. i think that by the time they tend to occur, there is indeed a little tiny infant human being in existence, and such a being has the right to life and everybody owes such a being the respect of that right. and in a legal system that is concerned with human liberty, the law should defend that
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right. this doesn't apply to embryos but it does apply to fetuses that are now in their -- whatever 40th week of development. so i do not believe that partial birth abortions are conducive, consistent with individual liberty. >> host: i want to get back to this book again. >> guest: there was a second part to this question and i don't remember exactly what it was. >> host: i don't have it. >> guest: i lost it. >> host: if it comes back to either of us we have 15, 20 minutes be left. i want to come back to this book in our last bit of time here. i'm curious -- we talked about environmental aspects and conservation but about animals and animals role in our society. why did you tackle this topic? >> guest: partly about because i wrote a lot about individual rights and human rights and the rights and the theory of rights and so on. and in the early '90s, late '80s, but even earlier, there
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have been talk about animal rights. there was a particular philosopher named thomas regan at north carolina state university. and there was another philosopher who's still very much active, peter singer at princeton university, who defended something like animal rights. regan defended animal rights. and singer defended animal interests and maintained that all public policies and all personal conduct must take into consideration its impact on the lives of animals, at least animals up to a point. they draw the line lower than i do with human beings. they went to go down, for example, monkeys and zebras or something like that. anyway, i consider animal rights
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basically a category mistake. animals don't have rights. they couldn't have rights because rights depend upon human beings having to make moral choices free of other people's intervention. now, there's a big argument about, well, how can you then say that infants have rights. they're not making the kind of big decisions that need this kind of protection so i got into that and we have been arguing about it back and forth, and i'm still writing some essays on the issue of animal rights and animal interest and how to tackle all this, although the book is a little bit more comprehensive, it also enters into the issue of wildlife preservation and the whole bunch of things. >> host: what do you think the way americans treat pets. does that fit into your thinking about it? >> guest: well, you know, i have had a bunch of pets myself but i never treated them like my kids. although you don't even -- you
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treat pets -- most people treat pets as if they were invalids. and i think that's an insult to pets. [laughter] >> guest: but generally, i mean, what -- i don't think about everything all the time and this is an area -- >> host: you've not explored. i did remember that viewer's question when you answered it. we want to know what you think of thomas so. >> guest: i think thomas so is a brilliant academic thinker, economist, political economist. i think he's a fascinating columnist. unfortunately, i don't think he got a very good public persona. he tends to be rather gruff and brusque and so he's better writing but not appearing in public, in my opinion. that's honest. whether i'm right or wrong is not the issue. what do i think, okay? thomas, i think he is over the
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top by saying no mental illness exists. i think there can be mental illness. it's totally reductionistic to think it's physiological. but he's a great champion of human liberty when he opposes involuntary mental hospitalization. >> host: 15 minutes until the end of our three-hour interview. we are live today on the campus of usc, which is where the "los angeles times" 16th book festival is being held this year and we're tag advantage of that to talk to a california writer today. our next question from him is from uniontown, pennsylvania. you're on, caller. >> caller: hello, c-span. hello, professor. i'm glad for this opportunity. >> guest: hello. >> caller: i agree with you wholeheartedly -- i think it's 27 weeks you said a fetus has to develop before it's actually a
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person. along those lines, when do you think a corporation should actually be recognized as a legal person as it is? thanks. >> guest: you know, the technical aspect of the legal status of a corporation is really not my specialty. however, i will tell you this, corporations are made up of human beings. the managers are human beings. the employees are human beings. the advertisers are human beings. the h.r. people are human beings. the customers are human beings. in that sense, corporations are no different from teams or orchestra or choirs or universities, which are all made up of human beings. and so in a derivative sense corporations can have rights just the same way as universities can or the los
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angeles philharmonic can have rights. obviously, the exact nature of the rights and how to establish it are complicated matters but i don't think that this badmouthing of corporations is somehow some super-duper monstrous entity has any justification going for it. >> host: well, here's a related email from james from new york. first of all, he says machan has been evading too many questions from the left and here's his. he refers only to the power of the government in taking away individual freedom. are there not powerful corporations that strip freedoms from individuals? why are only the government -- why assume only government creates these corporations? what is the evidence? do nonregulated markets always produce an incorrectliable and he demonizing his critics claiming they are hostile to prosperity. >> guest: okay. can you tell me whether the first sentence includes the word
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"evades"? >> host: evading too many questions. >> guest: that's an insult. i have evaded absolutely nothing in all of this interview. i have answered everything that was asked of me. some things weren't asked. i don't have any responsibility of producing questions for myself, not here. i do that in my books and in my scholarship. now, as far as corporations are concerned, whatever businesses do in the marketplace, they do not have the legal authority to invoke force and to jail people or to impose involuntary fees on them in the form of taxation. you can always have the exit option with a genuine free market corporation. you can leave. you can go to mcdonald's to burger kings. you can go from chevy to ford. you can go from volvo to saab.
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you cannot do that with your government that holds a gun over your head. therefore, the government's power backed by lethal forces is far more interesting and important for a political theorist to worry about than the power, so to speak, or influence or impact of the large organizations. let's face it, there are many, many large people in the world. all you got to do is watch a basketball game. and if you meet a large person in a back alley you're at a disadvantage if he were to be hostile to you. we can always focus on free market or possible hostility but the likelihood of people in the free market actually exercising lethal force against one another, unless they are out and out criminals, and that's what the government is there to stop,
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is much lower than the government doing it if it gets out of hand. >> host: estes, contained in her philosophical essays. i don't know her personal life enough to know whether she has
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done something grievously wrong or not. >> host: colorado, springs, another coloradoan. you're on. >> caller: hi. a number of years ago barbara brandon wrote "the passion of ayn rand" after ayn rand's death. and a year or so later her husband, nathaniel brandon wrote a book i believe entitled "my life with ayn rand" are you aware of the book "the passion of ayn rand's critics" and are you familiar with and the brandons have slandered ayn rand and have largely shaped a lot of the public impression of what ayn rand was like? >> guest: you know, i have never taken an interest in any of this gossipy stuff about ayn rand or against ayn rand or for ayn rand or nathaniel brandon or barbara brandon.
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all of this to me is just a side show. i'm interested in whether their thinking has any merit. >> host: i want to talk about your most recent book, widely available. how did you come up with this title? >> guest: well, it's always been interesting to me what people tell themselves when they realize that they're in disagreement with so many other people. i mean, just think the christians who disagree with the hindus, who disagree with the muslims. disagree with the this, and the that, the republicans the democrats, the utilitarians. the world is rife with people thinking that other people are wrong. so i was wondering, what do they tell themselves why they are wrong? how do they handle that? i mean, they walk, they eat, they sleep. they do pretty much what they do and yet they think they're wrong.
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and those guys think they're wrong. what do we make of this? that's how i came up with that title. >> host: i'll have to let people buy it to find the conclusion? >> guest: right, exactly. >> host: five minutes left, the next caller is from laredo, texas. >> caller: largely there's no perfect system because there's not perfect people who participate in one. if people were perfect, we wouldn't need a system anyway. >> host: it's a bad connection and i want to move to boise, idaho because our time is short. >> caller: hello. >> host: you have a question? >> caller: my question is, ayn rand, listening to rand paul when he came to visit and now i'm listening to this program and so far all i've been able to get out of it is that these people are shells for
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corporations. thank you. >> host: libertarians are shields for corporations. that's the question. >> guest: yeah, i'd wish. >> host: why? >> guest: i'd be richer. obviously, i'm not a shield for a corporation. i don't even know too many people in corporations. i work at a university. this is all kind of this badmouthing and besmirching and ad hominems you don't argue with a system based on whether you have this fantastic idea that they are shields of anybody. come on! this is nonsense. let's just talk about whether there is any validity to your arguments, whether history supports you? not this badmouthing and bemeaning and besmirching of your opponents. >> host: don in atlanta asked, do you agree humans have a hurting mentality and, therefore, almost desire restricted freedom in exchange for direction? >> guest: i don't.
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i think that may have been true at very early stages of human development because people were so vulnerable alone that the idea -- it's not so much an instinct but a good idea to get together with others in order to fend off anyone who might attack you. and that still goes. i think that there is strength in numbers. but i think intimate friendships, family are far more important than belonging to a union or a club or some other large group of human beings. i think the idea that human beings benefit from that -- occasionally, it's true. but the true benefit is to have friends, to have relatives, to be known for who you are and to know others to know who you are. and that's only possible for a small number of people.
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>> host: our last phone call will come from texas, the town of corpus christi. caller, you're on. caller: yes, is there a genetic difference and intelligence and how does that impact reasoning. >> host: is there a difference in genetic and intelligence? >> guest: you know, i don't think so -- and i'm not an expert on this issue. my general ideas that overall most human beings who have an intact brain are within the same range of intelligence. however, it is really up to them -- and, you know, i defended free will in my book called "initiative" and i still defend freedom of the will for human beings. i think that in order to make sense of the enormous differences between human beings including the qualitative differences, the good ones, the bad ones, the mediocre ones, you
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have you have to accept that most people give direction to their intelligence. their intelligence is an instrument and not an end in itself. >> host: well, as we close out here we've shown a lot of your books. and we talked about your difference methods of communication. but you're blogging regularly on the internet. >> guest: actually, no. you know, that's not accurate. i put my columns on the blog but i don't blog too much because i don't have time for blogging. >> host: i wanted you to tell if they would go to your blog site. >> guest: they would find my columns of which there are at least five every week commenting on contemporary events, cultural, political, ethical, commercial, what have you. i write for the "orange county register" a regular column every other wednesday. and i get published in many other newspapers. i also getting published on
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websites. and so that's what i write for and it's not really a chore. it's more like a vocation for me now. i like doing it and, you know, i'll probably keel over at the keypad and say bye-bye, you know? >> host: speaking of that it's time for us to say bye-bye. >> guest: well, thank you for having me. i really appreciate it. it was lots of fun. >> host: thank you for spending three hours for us and to our viewers, thanks for all the questions today. we appreciate your interaction and our discussion with tibor machan. coming up next we're going to begin our coverage from los angeles of day 2 of the "los angeles times" book festival. and in about a half hour from now our live coverage from the panel sessions begin throughout the day we'll have nonfiction books and panel sessions and also in between some call-in programs of nonfiction authors. right now we're going to show you an interview we conducted with the sponsors of the
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organization. the "los angeles times" publisher and the president of the university who will tell you more about why they are involved. >> the times, they have had 182 years history in los angeles. the the second oldest by one year institution in los angeles. about 16 years ago decided to put on an event that could just celebrate books, literature of
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all sorts and all types and all genres. it started out small for the first 15 years. we were at that other campus on the west portion of the l.a. this is the first year, our 16th year in existence that we are happy to bring it here to usc. we have an expectation of having over 150,000 visitors here on campus this weekend between yesterday and today. we have over 400 authors call performers, many, many booksellers and publishers that are here and other entities that are very dedicated to sponsorship and presentation of the written word. >> and we are also going to introduce you to max nikias who is the president of ust into is hosting this for the first time.
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why did you decide that this would be a great event for your university? >> oh, it is really something very exciting for us. we have a beautiful campus, much closer to what i call the historic downtown los angeles. and as already pointed out, he came to me. i get very excited about this being the host of this event. i pointed out to him that the l.a. times and usc are the oldest nonreligious surviving institutions in the city of los angeles. many other institutions have come and gone, but we have survived the test of time. >> the partnership makes sense. >> very fitting. >> how are you enlarging it beyond what we see here with the venues outside to involve students on campus? >> well, we have involved the students and faculty. we have many faculty who are also authors of books. they will exhibit their books here at the festival.
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they were doing it yesterday and also today. we also reached out to the 300,000 alarms of the university. we let them know about this event. so -- and that is why there is such a good participation. >> really an enormous undertaking. he mentioned 100,000 visitors. the center core of the campuses closed down to traffic. boots going up, 400 exhibitors. this is going to cost a lot of money. how do you make it work? >> we do it in large part with mostly our own people. in addition to all of those authors simonson's we have, well over 50 of them who will moderate group discussions are, in their own right, authors in addition to get a job with us at the times. everything from sports to photography bet any type of news
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coverage that they have, for international, or local. they'll participate. we have zero wonderful volunteer program a much our own employees whether they are from the news from our circulation or marketing. they are all here along with the u.s. see folks today helping show people around. we are able to put this on the response to ships. among them buick and target and many others who have a core believing in the value of the written word and books. as it ties into what the importance of the fourth estate is in the underpinnings of a democracy is what makes us work as a nation. a vibrant palette for journalism which we think we do quite well. pulitzer prizes are any indication, this is a good thing. the community embraces it. it is a family event, and a lot
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of people have a great time and meet authors up close and personal and tear through panel discussions and lectures and presentations, a little bit more behind what is actually in the written page. >> i wanted to find out right across the street is the l.a. -- the los angeles coliseum. there is a usc football game. we get more than 90,000 people to come. that is where they come first before they get to the stadium. so, as a university our security people but also everybody else, and people. we have a lot of experience how to organize a big advantage.
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also we make it very comfortable for them. >> rudd, the weather certainly has cooperated. >> it always has. >> southern california at its finest. >> another thing is we are both in what is a corridor of redevelopment of downtown los angeles. if you stepped out from this nice shaded said up magnolia and a hoax, you can see the downtown skyline. we are both very interested in helping los angeles revitalize its arts and historical and, frankly, educational attributes. a lot of people kind of scoffed when we say los angeles culture, but i think you will see from the people that are here this weekend if they ever untether you from your anchor chair here that there is a lot of cultured oregon. we are so diverse in terms of just the ethnicities that live
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here and the genres of publications, literature that you will see displayed here this weekend. >> and you see that ethnicity reflected in some of the panel sessions, the culture who are highlights it. >> and there are also a lot of students, a lot of kids who predicted -- participate in this event. a lot of the local schools. it is very important for the children to understand the importance of reading and the books. this will be a very memorable event. >> we were talking about how the classroom is involved. you mentioned that your reporters and staff are working. how will readers of the los angeles times who are not here feel the festival? >> they feel it because we have been letting them know about it through both print and online and even mobile versions. you can get l.a. times dot com / festival of books. if you have been following for the last several months you see
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the lineup. we are streaming some of the sessions. we will cover our own event and then we will rollout, over time those things and events and topics that people talk about here today. it is an opportunity to enrich people beyond just our core publications, but a lot deeper to introduce and encourage the discourse and dialogue amongst cultures, ideas stockpots thailand been even good cookbooks. >> i am going to head over to that area. >> we did a lot of people. not just from los angeles, but from california and even out-of-state visitors. >> how are you to spending your time this weekend? >> just going around listening to authors and meeting of the gains between usc and ucla.
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how but yourself? >> he said ucla, i did not. as i have on prior festival, i just go. i walk every i'll up and down, stop and look at every booth. i never cease to be and expects today, you know, as i was just a day to not be surprised by something that did not expect. that is why people come. >> i'm going to oppose by putting both on the spot because we love to learn about people about what you're reading. >> what i am looking to read this spring is some of the winners and even some of the runners of to our book prizes, which we hosted on friday night and talked about and are talking a lot this weekend. there are a couple of titles in the science and nature categories that we are particularly attractive.
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you up putting me on the spot. i don't remember the titles, but that is another event that we always tight end, the times book prizes. we tie that in with the festival of books. the book prizes have been in existence for 31 years. they are, i think, one of the most prestigious top prizes in all of america and certainly here on the left coast. >> and also interesting in the time of great change in the newspaper business that your commitment to these two events have lived through many changes overall. i won't forget. what are you reading? >> putting me on the spot. i promised. every year around this time of the year i was sending e-mail and give my recommendation of books. anderson they even out to the students went out last night. in the best of the festival box. so i recommended. the first one is the rise and
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fall, the nine great lies by plutarch and the other is by season. the third one is the new biography of george washington. the last one is a play. but. >> is for the recommendations. i will tell our book tv and c-span vans, a great fear -- a great friend over the course of his career as a los angeles times and previously. nice to see you in this role in bank you very much for hosting book tv here. >> thank you. always remember that the s and c-span is satellite, not susan. does wanted to make that clear for all of you. >> thanks again. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2, 48 hours of nonfiction
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authors and books every weekend. >> about five years ago i got a letter from a teacher that i had in eighth grade in chicago. she had saved one of my papers that i had written about thanksgiving. she looked really -- >> she really likes this paper. she mailed it to me and said, i've kept this all these years because it was one of the best papers i have gotten. i read that paper. i was a really good. thanksgiving. the blessings of thanksgiving. what it meant to me. i don't know. >> is it on your refrigerator now? >> it is in some box with all of my memorabilia. it was remarkable that she had
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saved that. anyhow, apparently i did write pretty well. i had an english teacher that said, you need to join the high school newspaper. i had never thought of writing. i actually liked asking -- acting. i was in place and things like that, which i am grateful i was now because that helped me as a television broadcaster. >> your voice. >> learning how to use and project your voice and not being afraid to get in front of people and speak. so, i joined the newspaper and they gave me a call called division news. they were not home runs. they were called divisions. my job was to go around to all of the home runs and interview people about what was going on with the people in that home run. it was actually kind of a gossip column. who won the spelling bee and to one the science fair. but i enjoyed so much having access that we could go around
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to these terms and talk to the teachers and talk to the students before anybody else. then write them up. see my byline. oh, my goodness. well, it is. it is kind of upset a heady experience. >> indeed. so you make the decision that this is going to be your life's work. >> i love this. the attention, the access, people coming up to me wanting to tell me information. and i was a curious child to read a lot. i guess i was pretty nervy. but it all worked. the reading, writing, that access to and being able to ask questions and get answers was just wonderful. i said, this is what i want to
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do. but, did i know anybody who was a reporter? did i know anybody, of white woman that as a reporter or any woman? all i knew was low as lane from superman and brenda starr from the comic book. but the idea, i knew there was a chicago tribune and a chicago sun-times and the chicago daily news. all kinds of great newspapers. my parents were avid newspaper readers. so it seemed a byline in the newspaper. people were covering things about murders and fires in politics. i just, i just decided that i had to do that. >> and you go and tell your parents that this is what you have decided. you want a career as a journalist. what did they say? silly girl. silly little girl.
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you can't be a journalist. women don't do that. and certainly black women don't do that. you need to go become a teacher. that way you can take care of yourself. you can always get a teaching job, but we don't want to spend tuition. it was a struggle for them to get my tuition together for me. and it was like, you need to be a teacher or a nurse or a social worker. that is just about all the things that young women in the early 60's would aspire to. and i was just, no, i don't want to do that. i really want to do this. there were a lot of fights in my household and a lot of slamming of my door and putting my foot down. again, this was the first, no, you can do this. i was just determined. finally they saw that i was not going to be happy.
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i was not going to be a good person to live with unless i got this opportunity. they supported me and i thank god for having supported parents that did not go to college but made sure my sister and i did. >> and then at some point you hear a second no, the second of many when you apply to school, northwestern. >> northwestern university in illinois was right outside chicago. that is where i wanted to go because at the time it was one of the best journalism schools in the country. i had great grades. as i told you, i was in all kinds of activities and things. i had a people us a minus average from high-school. i applied to northwestern. little did i no there was a quota system. they have exhausted now. there was a quota of the number of jews and the number of blacks
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that they check into the college. so, i get to this admissions counselor. he tells me that i was wasting my time. i needed to go become a nice english teacher. hi would never get a job working for the chicago tribune. so, i knew what was going to happen and i got the rejection notice of a few weeks later. we regret to inform you that -- i remember those first words. >> then enveloped. >> then envelope. no forms to fill out. no housing, little, tiny leather. i was like -- and my parents, thank god, didn't say, we told you so. but i said, well, i'm applying someplace else. it. >> and you do just that. you end up eventually graduating from where? >> the university of michigan. why do you want the year?
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>> well, never mind. >> 1962. >> 1962. and he did well in school. >> that did well in school again. there were 60 graduates in my class from journalism. everyone had a job at graduation time except me. >> the little red hen did not have a job again. >> and so i went to work at the chicago public library where i had worked every summer from the time i was 15 years old. here i am with the degree and i am going back to my high-school job, my college summer job. and i was disappointed, but i just felt something was going to happen, something was going to happen. i got this call from my dean of the schools saying that he had lined up in internships for me. it did not look good for the university to have one black student who did not have a job,
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so he worked very hard to make that happen. that is how i ended up in tuskegee. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> bill lightle to much to tell us why he chose football as a way to tell the story of racial tension in georgia. >> well, thanks to you and c-span. this book may -- "made or broken: football and survival in the georgia woods" has been out for about two years this particular player and another black player decided to go to their football camp. the football camp at that point was in the middle of the woods along a creek, all along a creek. bad things could happen out there. the first night, one of the black players did not make it and went home. the one who survived is greedy
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caldwell. now, this book, i think, is important to help us understand how football in the deep south helped further integration. the forward of this book is written by university football coach vince dooley, and that is what appealed to him. and he says in the foreword. i interviewed grady caldwell and a few other blacks who came after him. other whites who had to make adjustments. white coaches like harold dean took you supported greedy and black players that follow them. so one of the beams -- and there are other themes, but one of the teams is that high school sports, specifically put ball in the deep south did help further integration in our part of the country. >> and he played on this football team a little bit later than when grady caldwell did. what was the mood like on the team? to people talk about integration, other black players? >> and that is a great question. i played 1972.
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and by that point our team was probably 65, 60 percent white, the rest black. it was not discussed that just a few years earlier that was an all white football team and the color barrier had been broken in terms of that particular school. it was not discussed by the players that i've played with. and the interview, i think, in this book will help the reader understand that being a white player and being a black player who got in that football camp, and it was a hell of a camp, by the mid early 70's to wanted to be a part of that team, and race didn't matter. >> you write about how brittle the camp was. how much do you think the social challenges played into the physical sciences that they had to go through at camp? >> the social sciences for blacks? well, no question about it. grady caldwell -- as a matter of fact in a january 27 at grady
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will be in town speaking. rita told me about the intimidation, the name-calling, the threats from white players. white players admitted it, and the record them in the book. and as i said a moment ago, ernest jenkins was another black. two blacks on that team in 65. ernest did not make it through the first night of cam. a tremendous amount of pressure and intimidation to run them off. >> what was the mood around the city of albany at that time? did they see the integration of this one high-school football team helping the city of albany in the state of georgia move forward during integration? >> there is no question about it. the people who saw that were the same people that marked with dr. martin luther king when he came here in 61 and 62. people who were involved in what was called the albany movement. grady caldwell's on family and later larry wilson -- excuse me, larry west, his family. ron nelson.
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these are guys that played whose families, his mother's understood that if you can integrate the football team and not have whites on one side and black on the other in this big stadium, if you could integrate the team then you could further integrate the community. >> was there a lot of push back or attention from the community when gray played on the first football game? >> there was pushed back from his own white teammates. then i recorded their interviews in this book. they later regretted that. they later in the same season realize that recall well was a fellow of strong character and they went on to recognize that. there was early push. and heralding cut who just recently passed away made a point that he would go sit by greedy. all the other white players would not accept an early on.
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but coach harold deane cut did that. the other thing he did that night when he felt like there could be problems, he had pretty sleep by him in his spot. there were things that went on, people a step forward to help. >> tell us a little bit about the title? >> well, i got the title doing research for the book. i interviewed players and relied on my own memory. we would get up before daylight, three practice is a day. no water. they don't give you water until after practice. hazing, water moccasins. i was going through all stories at the albany "herald." this camp was built in the mid 30's during the great depression. it did not close until the early 80's. there was one story i believe that came out of 62-63. of course this is the deep south. football is it, it's king. one story written by a local sports writer. he is talking about the upcoming
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season. great football teams. the one state in 1959, a lot of excitement, talking about this camp. he uses that phrase made a broken. he said the cuts will take the phrase out. they will either be made or broken. when i saw it that was it. >> and what other books are you working on? >> well, i have written to previous. one, a bit about the first two. one is about a sharecropper, cotton picking boy born in 1916 and became a mill worker. that came out a year or so ago. and then i have written a book called my mother's dream come baseball with the bankers. that story about a dream my mother had about watching my dad played baseball. but, my dad organized a baseball team in the late 50's in indiana, a story about there and love, but more than a sports book in terms of that particular
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book. i have begun working on a book about pretty caldwell. because of what happened to him grady he was a central figure in this book, he fell into the pit of drug abuse and addiction. i interviewed him in prison as a matter of fact for this book. but then there are other themes that emerge in his life, redemption. his family stuck with him. now he is the minister, i believe, and griffin georgia. i just began work on that book. >> thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> hello from los angeles on this beautiful opening day of may. you're watching booked tv second day of live coverage of the los angeles times festival of books. we will be bringing you all sorts of nonfiction authors both in call-in programs and panel sessions. over 150,000 people are expected here over the course of today's. this event, which is called the largest literary event in the nation. out tell you what's coming up.
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the panel about loss angeles and out of you more about the details. following that, a call-in program. the truth about obama care, what they don't want you to know about our new health care law. following that, a panel session called democracy and its discontents moderated by celeste freeman of witness l.a., scott martell is one of the panelists. then walter mosley will be here. he will be in ag call-in program to talk about his new book about american democracy called 12 steps toward political revelation. our next panel session is inside paper hall called the living constitution. includes john dean, harvey weinstein, and allen, a founding dean of the university of california irvine school of law moderated by jim newton who is editor at large of the l.a. times. right now it is time for a panel session about los angeles called los angel t

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